Did you know that air pollution is linked to 40,000 deaths a year in the UK alone? As well as costing us £20 billion pound annually.
Indoor air pollution has become a major concern for the UK this year, with many doctors and governing bodies conducting reports and issuing warnings through various media.
In February this year a report was published by The Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health which discussed their findings on the issue.
The report focused on the effects of indoor air pollution which has been overshadowed by outdoor pollution for many years. One health concern in particular was Asthma, the report stated “after years of debate there is now compelling evidence linking air pollution to reduced growth in children and young adults which has ultimately seen a rise in Asthma sufferers.”
Sources of Indoor Air pollution
Indoor air pollution has several sources with one major one being outdoor pollution, which consists of vehicle emissions, power generation and tobacco smoke. The harmful pollutants seep through our windows and doors affecting us in our homes, workplaces and in our schools.
Contaminants in our homes are a result of:
· House dust mites, mould and animals
· Wood burning stoves
· Candle and air fresheners
· Printers, scanners and photocopiers
These sources cause harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), they can contribute to Cancer, Asthma, Stroke, Heart disease and the more minor, headaches and fatigue.
More than 3,000 schools in England are located in areas with dangerous levels of pollution, it goes without question that our MP’s need to enforce legislation and guidelines to help decrease air pollution.
So far MP’s have suggested a scrappage scheme for older diesel vehicles which would reduce pollution levels. However, the RAC estimates that this would only decrease pollution levels by 3% and cost the UK government £800 million to enforce.
“This is not just a job for government, local authorities or business – as individuals we can do our part to reduce pollutant exposure” – Dr Andrew Goddard
Professor Jonathan Grigg suggested “Simple measures such as using public transport, walking and cycling, and not choosing to drive high-polluting vehicles will reduce air pollution”.
Other suggestions were also made that the public should be educated on household energy efficiency, keeping gas appliances and solid fuel burners in good repair and raising awareness on good air quality. 361 Degrees sheds light on this issue as it is a growing concern for the country, we urge the public and the UK government to each do their part in decreasing the UK’s air pollution.