Today, Thursday 15 June, is Clean Air Day – the UK's largest campaign on air pollution. The theme is clean up our air to look after your mind this Clean Air Day.
Cleaning up our air is good for us in many ways, it not only benefits our physical health and the environment but can also protect our mental and brain health.
Government research has shown that in the UK, air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health. The annual mortality of human-made air pollution in the UK is roughly equivalent to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths yearly.
Sperate government research also estimates that between 2017 and 2025 the total cost to the NHS and social care system of air pollutant (fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide) related illnesses, will be £1.6 billion.
As a council, we are working to improve air quality in the city. Some of this work includes encouraging taxis to use ultra-low and zero-emission vehicles, introducing new charging points for electric vehicles and encouraging a more active lifestyle through walking and cycling. However, we still need your help.
What can you do to reduce your impact?
- Walk and cycle more, especially using the backstreets away from polluting traffic
- Avoid unnecessary burning at home (for example, in a stove or open fire) unless it is your only source of heat
- If you rely on wood for your heating, use 'ready to burn' materials (for example dry wood or approved manufactured solid fuels), and try to ensure that your appliance is eco-design accredited
- If you do have to drive, switch your engine off when you're stationary – idling petrol and diesel cars can have a significant localised effect on air quality, especially around schools
- If you are planning to change your car, consider an electric vehicle.
To get involved, visit the Clean Air Day website.
You can find out more about what we are doing to improve air quality on our website.