Clean Air Day: How do we improve air quality in the Channel Islands?

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have seen the benefits of getting out in the open air.

But how fresh is the air we breathe?

Car exhausts and industrial emissions are obvious sources of air pollution, but other things such as agriculture and energy production can also play a big part in releasing harmful particles and gases into the air.

According to Public Health England, man-made air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to health, with long term exposure contributing to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths each year.

Long-term exposure to air pollution contributes to as many as 36,000 deaths per year in the UK. Credit: ITV News

Poor air quality can also have a range of other health impacts.

Short-term effects:

  • Exacerbation of asthma

  • Coughing and wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

Long-term effects

  • Stroke

  • Lung cancer

  • Respiratory disease

  • Cardiovascular disease

Experts say the costs to health services of high levels of pollution run into billions of pounds each year - and that more people need to be aware of the air around them.

Ways to reduce air pollution include:

  • Choosing sustainable modes of transport like cycling and walking, rather than driving

  • Moving away from the use of gas boilers or log burners

  • Eating less meat

To stay aware - you can find the daily Air Pollution forecast here on the Clean Air Hub.