Pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.

 

Larissa Lockwood, Director of Clean Air at Global Action Plan, says: “This year’s theme highlights how air pollution can impact every organ in everybody – not just those who are vulnerable. Even though we can’t see it, air pollution impacts our health from our first breath to our last.”

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to human health in the UK and is associated with increased cases of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases resulting in an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK. We often associate poor air quality with affecting our lungs and heart, but did you know it also impacts our brain, skin, fertility, and bones amongst other things.

In 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) implemented more stringent air quality guidelines for the key pollutants which pose the largest risk of health effects from exposure (including fine particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide). Recently, it has been found by WHO that there are no safe levels for particulate matter, putting those living in dense urban areas at substantial risk to adverse health impacts.

Whilst poor air quality is mostly associated with outdoor sources such as road traffic, indoor pollution is a prevalent issue. Indoor air quality is particularly concerning as it relates to the health of occupants indoors, as we spend most of our time in both private and public indoor environments, such as homes, gyms, schools, workplaces, and transportation vehicles. Indoor environments represent a mix of outdoor pollutants associated with vehicular traffic and industrial activities which can enter by infiltrations or through natural and mechanical ventilation systems, as well as indoor contaminants such as the use of cleaning chemicals, biological pollutants (dampness and mould), tobacco products and even cooking.

The most successful management strategies focus on educating the public to both make changes to their personal lives but more importantly put pressure on those responsible for detrimental air quality. This holds true for this year’s Clean Air Day. This year’s resources focus on bringing air quality to the forefront of environmental discussion as well as kickstarting bottom-up changes to change decision makers attitude to helping you improve air quality in your local area.

We can all take steps to reduce our air pollution impact through small changes in our day-to-day life. Therefore, this year we ask what can you pledge to reduce your own impact on air pollution?

Find out what your impact is using Global Action Plan’s Air Pollution Calculator and what you can do to reduce your personal pollution footprint.

You can find out more about Clean Air Day and explore the resources available for businesses, communities, and local authorities HERE

GL Hearn provide expert advice on air quality and climate change to support industry, developers, and local authorities across the UK. Visit our website to find out more about the services we can offer you HERE, or get in touch with Amy Van De Sande, GL Hearn’s Air Quality and Climate Change Lead, to find out more about the services we can offer.