Air quality and your health

The damage to our health from air pollution can start as early as birth right the way through to old age. It’s estimated that the equivalent of 40,000 lives are lost each year in the UK and five million across the world due to air pollution. 

Our physical and psychological wellbeing is affected differently by the kind of air pollution we are exposed to causing potential health problems such as: 

  • Respiratory diseases 
  • Cardiovascular damage 
  • Fatigue, headaches and anxiety 
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose and throat 
  • Damage to reproductive organs 
  • Harm to the liver, spleen and blood 
  • Mental health issues 
  • Dementia  
  • Low birth weight leading to premature birth and pregnancy loss. 

What you can do to protect yourself outside of the home? 

  • Give your car a day off – walk, cycle or take public transport to work or school, or work from home if you can 
  • Use quieter streets when cycling or on foot to avoid polluted main roads 
  • Go electric – there are lots of ways you can travel electric. Hire an electric car, taxi or test drive an electric vehicle today 
  • Don’t idle – if you drive, turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationary and safe to do so 
  • Use the Click and Collect method to receive parcels and reduce the amount of travelling delivery vehicles make. 

What can you do to protect yourself at home?

  • Ventilate your home - Open windows and use extractor fans when cooking or using cleaning products, but close windows near busy roads during rush hours
  • Use fragrance-free milder cleaning products
  • Only burn dry, well-seasoned wood or smokeless fuel on your stove, open fire or barbeque
  • Choose paints and varnishes that are labelled low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).