East Suffolk residents are being encouraged to take simple steps to protect their health, and the health of their families, from air pollution.
Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health, and it is estimated that it contributes to around 40,000 deaths a year nationally. In the lead up to Clean Air Day on 20 June, East Suffolk Council’s Air Quality Officers are working with schools, workplaces and communities to help raise awareness of the causes of air pollution and how improved air quality can benefit health.
Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign and aims to tackle and raise awareness of air pollution. Schools, hospitals and communities across the UK will be holding events to inspire local residents to act for their own health and the health of local children.
In preparation for Clean Air Day, Air Quality Officers have been visiting East Suffolk schools to speak with drivers about the pollution caused by idling vehicles and asking parents to switch off their engines outside schools.
Children have also been invited to become School Air Quality Ambassadors and have attended an air quality lesson at the Council’s offices.
As well as outdoor air pollution, residents are also being asked to consider the air quality in their homes. There are many ways to improve indoor air quality; including opening windows when cooking or using cleaning products, regularly servicing your boiler to ensure there are no carbon monoxide leaks and avoiding artificial scents in the products used at home.
Anti-idling events are behaviour change campaigns which help reduce localised air pollution caused by motorists who leave their engines running when parked. Local authorities, councillors and volunteers work to educate both motorists and pedestrians. Our approach is to invite drivers to join our campaign and switch off their engines when parked. When approached in a friendly way, we find that over 80% of drivers switch off when asked, and many pledge to give up the idling habit for good. East Suffolk Council are running weekly anti-idling events at schools across the district.
Woodburning and indoor air quality
The UK population spends up to 90% of its time indoors which means that the air we are most exposed to is inside our buildings. A checklist with guidance on keeping air healthy within the home is attached.
Open fires and wood-burning stoves have risen in popularity in recent years, however many people are unaware that smoke from burning causes harmful air pollution.
Click here for an air quality checklist: Indoor-Air-Quality-checklist2.pdf
For more information on Open Fires and Woodburning Stoves: Click here