A devastated Dartford campaigner who almost lost her child to a severe respiratory condition has expressed outrage as new research has shown Darent Valley Hospital to be situated in a "toxic air" hotspot.

A new report published by the British Lung Foundation has highlighted 248 hospitals, including Darent Valley, which are seemingly located in areas where levels of dangerous air pollutants (fine particulate matter) are above the limit set out by world health experts.

This report has also warned of how fine particulate matter is "particularly harmful" as the small particles can easily and quickly penetrate "deep into the lungs".

According to the latest research, Darent Valley Hospital's site has recorded fine particulate matter levels of 10.42 micrograms per cubic metre of air, slightly above the World Health Organisation's recommended limit.

However, this reading falls well beneath the legal UK limit of 25.

The British Lung Foundation are now calling on government officials to adopt the WHO's agreed limit into UK law, as well as providing further funding for air quality monitoring and also implementing 'Clean Air Zones' in cities and towns with high levels of air pollution.

Speaking to News Shopper, founder of the Dartford Clean Air action group Mandy Garford compared the sending of seriously ill patients to Darent Valley as being like leading "lambs to a slaughter".

"I am devastated reading the latest report that Darent Valley is one of the areas above the recommended limits for fine particulate matter.

"We see report after report and I worry that we are becoming numb to the reality.

"Our hospital should be a place to heal and recover, but we are sending our ill and vulnerable into dangerous levels of toxic air.

"The staff at Darent Valley are extremely hardworking but these dangerous levels of air pollution can aggravate existing conditions and significantly worsen acute illnesses.

"The evidence couldn’t be clearer that air pollution is a clear and present danger to our health, and an immediate risk to the health of the most vulnerable.

"We urgently need to see strong policies at local and national level that are enforced to save lives," she said.

Dartford Labour councillor for Stone House Ward, Kelly Grehan, has also voiced her concerns for vulnerable Dartford residents and that it's understood the Council are looking at certain actions to help alleviate the issue.

"The life expectancy of people living in Stone is already lower than for Dartford Borough as a whole. Pollution causes diseases ranging from lung cancer to psychosis.

"I am told that Dartford Borough Council is about to commission a new Air Quality Action Plan which will include a consultation process and stakeholder engagement meetings.

"I'm really hoping that lots of people contribute to this and that it will lead to meaningful actions because at present we are literally all being poisoned day by day," she said.