This year’s Clean Air Day is taking place today, Thursday 16th June 2022.
Now in it’s sixth year, Clean Air Day is organised by the Global Action Plan charity and is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, with the goal of bringing together businesses, the health sector, communities and schools to raise awareness of air pollution and find practical solutions to this global issue.
This year’s theme is based around the impact of air pollution on health, with the tagline “Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.”
Air pollution is considered by many to be the world’s largest environmental health threat and it is easy to see why. All of the most common air pollutants, including nitrous and sulphur oxides and particulate matter, can have a severe impact on our physical health.
These harmful pollutants can have a wide range of effects from coughing and breathing difficulties to reduced lung function, heart and lung disease as well as dementia and strokes. Exposure to air pollution can also aggravate pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to air pollution reduces life expectancy, largely due to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer. Whilst the more vulnerable members of our community are at increased risk of these harmful effects, air pollution has the capacity to harm all of us. Public Health England estimates that long-term exposure to air pollution has an effect which is equivalent to 28,000 – 36,000 deaths annually, clearly showing the need for action.
This year, the Clean Air Day campaign is promoting three key actions:
- Talking to someone about the harms of air pollution
- Walking those short distance trips and leaving the car at home, where you can
- Asking local and national decision makers for what would make it easier for you to walk more and have clean air in your community.
These are three things everyone can do to make a difference this Clean Air Day.
Education is a key part of Clean Air Day and Global Action Plan’s Clean Air Hub is great place to increase your understanding of air pollution, as well as the Clean Air Calculator to see how you can reduce your personal contribution air pollution. Further educational resources are also available from Public Health England and the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs.
A great way to take part in Clean Air Day is to make a pledge to take action such as walking or cycling to work or school on the day, pledge cards are available on the Clean Air Day website and you are encouraged to share your pledge on social media using the hashtag #CleanAirDay.
Following the recent launch of our air quality solution, we are excited to be involved in this day of awareness, keep an eye on our social channels for more content throughout the day!