On Clean Air Day, find out what you can do to reduce air pollution
16th June 2022
It's Clean Air Day (16 June) and this year’s theme looks at how air pollution can impact our health, as well as what we can to do address this increasingly important issue.
Air pollution can harm every organ in the body and shorten lives, contribute towards chronic illness and put people more at risk from Covid-19. When polluted air is breathed it can inflame the lining of the lungs and move into our bloodstream, affecting every organ in the body. This can lead to lung disease, heart disease, dementia and strokes.
What can you do:
There are a few things you can do to both tackle your own contributions to poor air quality, as well as reducing its health impacts on both yourself and your loved ones.
Use a personal air pollution calculator to see how you are contributing to poor air quality in your area and what you can do to reduce your emissions.
Start regularly checking air quality forecasts to see if certain days might have worse air quality, then use the DEFRA Air Quality Index to see if you might need to make changes to your routine as a result. You may also want to talk to any friends or family with health conditions which might make them more at risk to poor air quality and let them know when poor air quality has been forecast.
Changing the way you travel is the best way you can help to tackle poor air quality. Reducing the amount you use the car will help reduce your own emissions, while using quieter streets when on foot or bike will reduce your own personal exposure to air pollution.
If you do have to use a car, then please ensure that you switch the engine off when stopped for a minute or longer. Idling, leaving your engine on when stopped, has a significant negative impact on the air quality in the immediate area.