How Is Air Pollution Affecting Lung Health In The UK?
The Law Of… fighting illegal levels of air pollution
As part of the British Lung Foundation's Breathe Easy Week and National Clean Air Day, healthcare specialists, lung disease sufferers and campaigners for clean air are coming together to offer support and to take a stand against the soaring levels of pollution in the UK.
The theme of the week is 'clean air' and support groups are rallying together to help to support those people who suffer most when air pollution levels are high. Every year, the British Lung Foundation holds Breathe Easy Week to raise awareness of lung conditions and help to raise funds for life-changing research.
Simpson Millar's Industrial Disease solicitor, Phillip Gower, aims to raise awareness of the true impact of air pollution. Below, discusses the importance of protecting yourself against air pollution.
Why Is Air Pollution A Problem?
Quite simply, air pollution is when the air we breathe is dirty. It is caused by the burning of fossil fuels and exhausts from factories and industries. The issues surrounding air pollution are plentiful. It is common to find discussions surrounding global warming and the effect of the pollution of wildlife, but air pollution is also having a huge effect on humans.
Air pollution has been attributed to causing up to 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK and around 10,000 people in the UK are newly diagnosed with a lung disease every week. More recently in the news, it was reported that the UK was the 15th worst country for air pollution related deaths in Europe.
What Can I Do To Protect Myself And My Family?
To avoid over exposure to air pollution there are guidelines that you can follow:
- Check the air quality index, before you leave the house
- If possible, walk or cycle to work
- When walking through heavily built up areas, walk as far away from the edge of the pavement as possible to avoid exhaust fumes from cars
- Avoid exhaustive exercise on days where the pollution level is high
- Be particularly careful during the summer months as air pollution is generally worse when the weather is warm
- Exercise regularly
Whilst these guidelines provide a good basis for day-to-day life, air pollution is becoming a public health crisis and a call to more influential parties is needed.
As part of Breathe Easy Week, it is important for communities to come together and fight for cleaner air. Lung disease is affecting millions of families across the UK and the government still appears to be doing very little to clean up the air. Many towns and cities across the country have unsafe levels of air pollution. The British Heart Foundation is running a campaign asking the government to establish clean air zones and instigate a new clean air act in line with the World Health Organisation's safe limits.
You can also fight for justice if you suffer from a lung disease that has been caused by air pollution.
How Can Simpson Millar Help?
The UK government has been unsuccessful in applying environmental law on air quality. The government is currently failing to protect its citizens from dirty air. The only way to stand up to the government is to do so collectively.
A united stance on new laws surrounding air pollution could make a long-term difference to the lives of future generations. Government, local authorities and businesses are responsible for reducing the amount of air pollution they create and have a duty to make efforts to reduce air pollution levels.
Join the fight against air pollution by:
Taking a pledge
- Calling our hotline (0800 260 5010) to join other lung disease sufferers in the fight for justice against the government
- Getting involved in the British Lung Foundation's campaign for cleaner air
for Clean Air Day on 15th