East Suffolk residents are being encouraged to take simple steps to protect their health, and the health of their families, from air pollution at home.
Clean Air Day, on 8 October, is the UK's largest air pollution campaign and aims to tackle and raise awareness of air pollution. Due to coronavirus restrictions, Clean Air Day is being held online this year and is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. Resources, including air pollution videos, checklists and a personal air pollution calculator, are available at www.cleanair.org.uk
East Suffolk residents can find out how they can make small changes to improve air quality in their own homes, improving their health and the health of their families. This includes opening windows when cooking or using cleaning products, regularly servicing your boiler to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks and avoiding artificial scents in the products used at home.
One of the major contributors to indoor air pollution is the use of open fires and woodburning stoves. Making small changes to how you use your fire or wood-burner, such as only using dry, seasoned wood and ensuring your chimney is regularly swept, can significantly improve air quality. Guidance on reducing air pollution, including domestic burning, is available at www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/clean-air-day
Outside of the home, an easy way to reduce air pollution is for drivers to remember to switch off their engine when stationary, especially outside schools. Last year, East Suffolk Council began an anti-idling campaign, visiting schools to speak with drivers about the pollution caused by idling vehicles. This campaign continued into early 2020, with Air Quality officers visiting a further eight schools, speaking with parents and running air pollution assemblies for the children.
Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for the Environment said: “Air pollution has serious health impacts with dirty air contributing to 40,000 deaths every year in the UK. We want to raise awareness of the simple things people can do in their everyday lives to improve air quality, especially indoor air quality as we are spending so much more time at home now. Clean Air Day is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and family and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.”