Public Health England aims to create a ‘clean air generation’ as a result of the review.
Public Health England has just published a review on how to improve air quality in the UK. The report includes a number of local and national actions, all of which aim to improve outdoor air quality as well as health.
Currently, between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths are year are attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution. Furthermore, it is considered one of the biggest environmental threats to health. Evidence suggests that air pollution can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and respiratory disease.
Actions for local authorities
Some of the advice published in the review that local authorities can action include;
- Promoting the use of low-emission vehicles
- Installing electric car charging points
- Encouraging the adoption of low emission fuels
- Improving foot and cycle paths
- Redesigning housing to make sure people aren’t close to high pollution roads
- Creating low emission and clean air zones.
- Increasing the use of hedges to screen pollutants
- Widening road networks.
The director of Health Protection and Medical Director at Public Health England, Professor Paul Cosford says; “Transport and urban planners will need to work together, with others involved in air pollution to ensure that new initiatives have a positive impact. Decision makers should carefully design policies, to make sure that the poorest in society are protected against the financial implications of new schemes.”
In order to support the local authorities in their quest to improve air pollution, the national government will implement incentives that help. Some incentives will include policies that promote low emission vehicles and implementing policies regarding industrial emissions in populated areas.
You can read the Public Health England review of improving outdoor air quality, in full, here.