It’s Clean Air Day on Thursday 16th June. To celebrate this important day, we’ve launched a #PMTennis campaign to spread awareness of the causes of air pollution, the impact on public health, and the steps we can take to improve it.
Led by Global Action plan, Clean Air Day is the largest air pollution campaign in the UK, aiming to improve public awareness and understanding of air pollution. Air pollution is one of the largest environmental health risks that we face today and is one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally.
The #PMTennis campaign focuses on Particulate Matter 10 (PM10), a major factor of air pollution. Often catalogued as ‘floating dust’, this is particulate matter with a diameter equal to or smaller than 10 micrometres. Composed of numerous inorganic ions, including nitrate, sulphate, and ammonium, PM10 poses a number of serious health issues by penetrating the lungs and entering the bloodstream.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released updated Air Quality Guidelines in September last year, with a number of key changes:
The transition to renewable energy is often cited as the main solution to air pollution. The use of wind, solar and geothermal energy plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
The creation of energy-efficient buildings is also a vital factor, with ‘Green Building’ an increasingly popular choice. From planning to occupancy, Green Building establishes environmentally responsible and resource-efficient structures, that reduce negative impacts on the environment, by using less water, energy, or natural resources.
Open burning is a large source of PM10, with landscaping debris, household rubbish and demolition debris associated with this issue. Composting, mulching, and natural decomposition are all recommended alternatives.
Finally, reducing individual exposure to air pollution is recommended. This includes reducing car travel, eating local and organic produce, and avoiding walking near busy roads and motorways. To help with this behaviour change, the Government are starting to implement proactive measures, including driving and parking restrictions and low emission zones or clean air zones.