20 Jun The effects of air pollution – what can we do?
Air pollution is a global health and environmental hazard. It is a mix of harmful gases within the atmosphere and with the population constantly growing, it is adding more strain to our planet.
Now, many of the UK’s cities exceed the safe and legal limits for air pollution. WHO data indicates that nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, and with these particles reaching lethal concentrations, the air we breathe is killing 7 million people every year.
This is not a sustainable way of life, so if you need help or advice on how you can contribute positively to the environment, ESS are just a call away.
The problems of pollution
Poor air quality is a serious concern within the modern world and pollution levels have increased massively over the years. These molecules can also cause harm to living organisms and food crops. So it is important to try and take extra steps to reduce pollution.
Transport, car fumes and business factories are just a few contributors. Proving that the exposure may not always be visible, but it is more than likely always there. Meaning that the fumes are hard to escape and can be found both indoors and outside. However, making sure that your building is well-ventilated and getting rid of pollutants, such as tobacco smoke, asbestos and carbon monoxide can improve the quality of your indoor air.
Did you know: reports have shown that nearly half of UK homes have high indoor air pollution?
The two main issues from exposure to polluted air are:
- It can cause both short- and long-term health issues, such as lung problems and asthma. This particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and the elderly. Primary school children are exposed to 30% more toxic pollution than adults while walking to school.
- It can have a negative impact on the environment since air pollution is linked to climate change. Human inflicted activities, such as domestic combustion release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which warm the planet.
Clean Air Day
We need to think of new initiatives where the amount of harmful gasses released can be reduced. This is where the coordinators of the Global Action Plan come in. They have created the campaign, Clean Air Day which is held in June each year.
The campaign is to improve people’s understanding of air pollution, how it affects our health and what we can do to tackle it. People are urged to leave their cars at home and use a sustainable method of travel to school, work or town.
This is a very simple, yet effective way that people can help to improve air quality. Those who live near their place of work, school, or leisure centre should consider catching public transport, especially during peak times.
Better yet, walking or cycling can improve health, as well as reducing the carbon footprint. So, why not encourage your staff, pupils, and friends to become more eco-friendly. Ditch the habits and consider a car share? Often, offering initiatives to those who pledge to change their transport habits improve well-being.
Luckily, everybody can have a positive impact on air quality. We all need to do our bit to reduce air pollution and Clean Air Day is an opportunity to think about the way we travel and make a change to lessen our impact on air quality throughout the year.
Visit CleanAirDay.com for more information on how your school, business, leisure centre or care-home can plan ahead for sustainable actions.
What actions will you take to help reduce air pollution?