10 things you might not know about air pollution

Air pollution is an urgent public health issue - as serious as heart disease, obesity and smoking. The more we know about it, the better.

  • Air pollution is damaging to the health of all of us but particularly young children and those with heart and lung problems

  • Being exposed to air pollution during pregnancy and after birth may affect the development of a child’s lungs.

  • Air pollution causes illnesses such as heart disease and worsens illnesses such as asthma.

  • Ninety-nine people die from air pollution every day in the UK, and thousands are living with conditions caused or exacerbated by our filthy air.

  • The financial cost of air pollution is similar to that of obesity: air pollution costs the UK £20 billion each year

  • As well as our health being damaged by the air we breathe when we are out and about, the quality of the air within our homes can be harmful too. There are at least 14 air pollutants present in the average home.

  • On Clean Air Day 2018, #CleanAirDay trended for 8 hours. But there is still so much to do to increase awareness: our surveys after 2018’s Clean Air Day showed that only 1 in 4 people understand that driving often exposes people to more pollution than walking or cycling

  • Only 2 in 5 people could name one way to cut the pollution that builds up inside our homes.

  • Cyclists and pedestrians often breathe cleaner air than drivers on the same route.

  • To avoid the harmful effects of indoor pollution, it is important to open windows for ventilation when cooking or cleaning.
air pollution for drivers