Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day

Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution, takes place this year on Thursday 16 June 2022.

In its sixth year, Clean Air Day helps to drive a positive shift in public knowledge and action; is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information, and make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. 

The theme for this year’s campaign is: “Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.”

This year, to tie in with the national campaign, Eden District Council is incorporating an innovative live feed of its air pollution equipment to display on the Eden Website.

Eden District Council has two high-tech continuous air quality monitors in Penrith. The monitors show indicative levels of a number of pollutants including Nitrogen Oxides, Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5).  The small monitors are mounted on lamp-posts and can be moved.

The equipment helps the Council to identify pollution trends. The real-time reading captures spikes in pollutant concentration: an important part in identifying, tackling and reducing levels within the district.

Judith Derbyshire, Housing and Health Portfolio Holder said, “real time data gives us a better understanding of peak rates and patterns of all the main health-based air pollutants, and the equipment provides data that can be used to inform future initiatives to reduce air pollution and its risk to human health.”

The Council monitors levels of pollutants; the most common kind being nitrogen dioxide, which comes from the exhausts of cars and lorries, power stations and other types of combustion.

Air pollution can harm every organ in the body and shorten lives, contribute towards chronic illness and put people more at risk from COVID-19. When polluted air is breathed, it can inflame the lining of the lungs and move into our bloodstream, affecting every organ in the body. This can lead to lung disease, heart disease, dementia and strokes. 

Air Pollution Monitoring and management is a duty of Eden District Council and the local authority is committed to better air quality in the area. Eden District Council works with other organisations, such as Cumbria County Council and the Highways Authority, to take steps to reduce air pollution.

Larissa Lockwood, Director of Clean Air at Global Action Plan, said:

“This year’s theme highlights how air pollution can impact every organ in everybody – not just those who are vulnerable. Even though we can’t see it, air pollution impacts our health from our first breath to our last. 

“However, it is solvable, and we can all do something to cut pollution to benefit our health, planet and community. Walking short trips instead of driving is a great way to reconnect with our local community, breathe cleaner air and get some exercise. But it’s not always easy, so this Clean Air Day also ask local decision makers for what would make it easier for you to walk more and have clean air in your community.”

For more information on air quality in Eden, visit the Eden District Council website at www.eden.gov.uk/air-quality.

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