Local schools, hospitals and communities across UK cities run events and inspire other local residents to act for their own health and the health of local children.

Across the UK’s city centres, air pollution is having a major impact on our health, with dirty air contributing to 40,000 deaths every year in the UK.

National Clean Air Day will enable people to act on air pollution, making UK cities cleaner, healthier and greener for us all – especially children. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, and action to protect them will be a particular focus on the day. If you act today, we’ll all benefit today.

Facts about air pollution

•    A thick smog formed in London during the late 1800s. It was called the London Fog or the Pea Soup Fog.
•    The biggest single air polluter is road transport such as cars.
•    Air pollution can cause your eyes to burn and make it difficult to breathe.
•    Indoor air pollution can be much worse than the pollution outdoors.

Why is air pollution a problem?

You can’t always see or smell air pollution – but it is there. In fact, most places in the UK have illegal pollution levels, and our health is suffering as a result.

Dirty air leads to worsening asthma symptoms, heart disease and even lung cancer. It increases the risk of children growing up with smaller lungs and has been associated with changes in the brain linked to dementia.

Data from the World Health Organisation shows air pollution is a serious problem across most of our major towns and cities — from Birmingham to Swansea to Glasgow. The medical journal The Lancet and the Royal College of Physicians have both referred to this data.
 

Breathing Clean Air; What We Owe Our Kids

“It’s in all our interests to care about pollution,” says Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, from Lewisham, London, who lost her daughter Ella to severe asthma and now campaigns for clean air.

“This is where I think my daughter was cheated. She was ill and she wasn’t breathing clean air. That’s what we should be fighting for: for our children to breathe clean air.”

Air pollution also makes already existing inequalities worse.

Certain groups are deeply affected by poor quality air: those living in areas of most deprivation, black and ethnic minority people, pregnant women, children, older people and people with existing health conditions.

How to make our air cleaner

1. Conserve energy

Switch off fans and lights when you are going out. A large number of fossil fuels are burnt to produce electricity. You can save the environment from degradation by reducing the number of fossil fuels to be burned.

2. Understand the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Do not throw away items that are of no use to you. In-fact reuse them for some other purpose. For e.g. you can use old jars to store cereals or pulses.

3. Use public mode of transportation

Encourage people to use more and more public modes of transportation to reduce pollution. Also, try to make use of carpooling. If you and your colleagues come from the same locality and have same timings you can explore this option to save energy and money.

4. Emphasis on clean energy resources

Clean energy technologies like solar, wind and geothermal are on high these days. Governments of various countries have been providing grants to consumers who are interested in installing solar panels for their home. This will go a long way to curb air pollution.
 

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