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Anti-Idling Campaign

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Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, and it is estimated that it contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year nationally.

Anti-idling events are behaviour change campaigns which help reduce localised air pollution caused by motorists who leave their engines running when parked. Local authorities, councillors and volunteers work to educate both motorists and pedestrians. Our approach is to invite drivers to join our campaign and switch off their engines when parked. When approached in a friendly way, it has been found that over 80% of drivers switch off when asked, and many pledge to give up the idling habit for good.

East Suffolk Council ran a series of anti-idling events at schools across the district in the lead up to Clean Air Day this year (20th June 2019).  It is our intention to run further events in the 2019/20 school year.

Please get in touch if you would like to volunteer or if you would like an event at your school: environment@eastsuffolk.gov.uk.

Some facts about air pollution and health

What are the main pollutants that come from vehicles that are damaging to health?

  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM)  are both produced by petrol and diesel vehicles, and have detrimental effects on the heart and lungs when inhaled.

What types of health conditions can air pollution cause?

  • It causes a range of illnesses, from skin rashes and itchy eyes, through to asthma, and to more serious cardio-respiratory illnesses and cancer.

Why is air pollution of particular concern for child health?

  • Children have faster breathing rates (so they breathe in more air per kg of body weight) and their lungs are developing. They are also shorter and therefore closer to the tailpipes, so are likely to be breathing in more pollution. The UK has one of the highest records of asthma symptoms in children worldwide.

Will I / my child be more protected from emissions inside a car than out on the street?

  • No. Emissions tend to be higher inside the car than out on the street, so it’s better to walk or cycle rather than drive.

What can people do to reduce their exposure to air pollution?

  • Walk or cycle instead of driving.

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