Minister visits Belfast school to mark Clean Air Day 2022

by UTV Weather presenter Louise Small

Thursday, June 17 marks Clean Air Day.

It’s the sixth year of the UK-wide campaign which helps to encourage members of the public to make changes on a day-to-day basis in order to help reduce pollution levels in towns and cities.

The COP26 summit in Glasgow last year highlighted the importance of reducing carbon emissions and taking care of the world we live in, in order to preserve it for future generations.

Some of those young people had their say on Thursday when the Environment Minister Edwin Poots visited Knockbreda Primary School.

At the school the Minister used the opportunity to launch his Department’s updated “Air Aware” SMS subscription service which can alert members of the public when periods of high air pollution are forecast or being experienced in Northern Ireland.

The service is targeted at those with chronic health conditions such as heart disease and lung disease and can be initiated by texting ‘AIR’ to 07984405722.

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