A STREET in the centre of Glasgow is the country's most polluted, according to a league table from Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Roadside monitoring found Glasgow's Hope Street had the highest levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particles in 2013, while Aberdeen's Market Street was the worst for particulate matter.

These have been linked to respiratory illness such as asthma, and the charity said research has linked exposure to fine particles with heart attacks. It said some Scottish levels of pollution fell below EU and UK standards.

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Other streets with high levels of nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter include Central Road, Paisley, Seagate in Dundee, Wellington Road, Aberdeen, Atholl Street in Perth, and Salamander Street in Edinburgh.

Emilia Hanna of Friends of the Earth said: "Fumes from cars, lorries, buses and factories are killing off more people than car crashes. Air pollution is like passive smoking: we do not choose to breathe in this poisonous air.

"This year, as Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and people talk of the legacy of the Games for youngsters … the athletes of the future need clean air."

She added: "Both the ­Scottish Government and our local authorities are only just beginning to take this seriously and between them they need to act urgently."

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: "While we have seen nationally a 65% decrease in nitrogen oxides, a 78% decrease in sulphur dioxide and a 58% decrease in particulates between 1990 and 2011, we recognise that more can be done. That is why we recently consulted on proposals for further action to improve air quality and expect to set out next steps later this year."