Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK and harms the health of millions worldwide. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues.
But there are lots of simple things we can do to improve air quality and look after our health. Clean Air Day took place on 16 June 2022 and was led by Global Action Plan. It aims to improve public understanding of air pollution both indoors and outdoors.
In 2022 the focus was on health - steps we can all take to improve both our health and the planet. Clean Air Day is a chance to find out more about air pollution (including some of the easy things we can all do to tackle it), share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.
Stuart Keeble, Director of Public Health for Suffolk County Council and Louise, a Primary Care Lead Nurse, explains all.
For Clean Air day 2022 Global Action Plan have devised a Personal Air Pollution Calculator for you to work out your individual contribution to air pollution in the UK should you wish, and find out what you can do to reduce emissions and protect your health.
The following are some simple ideas we can look at taking to help cut down the pollution we emit;
The Clean Air Hub contains everything you need to know about air pollution and how we can all make changes to improve air quality.
One minute of car idling produces enough toxic emissions to fill 60 people’s lungs – switching off engines when parked is a simple way we can help to clean the air we breathe.
Anti-idling events are a great way to engage with drivers, educate them about the impact of idling on local air quality, and encourage them to switch off their engines. Research has shown that idling events can decrease local air pollution levels in that particular area.
East Suffolk Council has engaged with a number of primary schools over the last few years providing assemblies on air pollution for the children followed by an after school anti-idling leafleting campaign.
The UK population spends up to 90% of its time indoors which means that the air we are most exposed to is inside our buildings. Air pollution inside our buildings can come from many indoor sources, as well as from outside. To help protect your indoor air quality, download and complete the checklist should you wish.
Open fires and wood-burning stoves have risen in popularity in recent years, however many people are unaware that smoke from burning causes harmful air pollution.
This leaflet provides simple guidance for those that need to use wood burning stoves or open fires on how to reduce environmental and health impacts, as well as:
Additional information can be found on our wood burning page.