As part of the Royal College of Physicians' (RCP's) commitment to tackling the problem of air pollution, we are supporting the UK’s first-ever National Clean Air Day (NCAD) on Thursday 15 June.
Poor air quality plays a major role in many modern health challenges, including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, obesity, and changes linked to dementia. NCAD aims to give everyone the knowledge needed to improve the quality of the air we breathe. You can download the NCAD healthcare toolkit for cutting-edge advice on avoiding and tackling urban air pollution, approved by health experts and academics.
National Clean Air Day is coordinated by the environmental change charity Global Action Plan and supported by over 50 health institutions.
The lifelong impact of air pollution
Professor Stephen Holgate, special adviser on air quality to the RCP, writes in The BMJ that 'an increase in evidence linking pollution to adverse health across the entire lifecourse' led to the publication of Every breath we take in 2016. This report, led by the RCP and produced by a working party chaired by Professor Holgate, revealed that 40,000 deaths in the UK each year are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution.
This is an international problem: with the UK voting to leave the EU, the RCP believes that Brexit must not be used as an opportunity to weaken laws and regulations relating to air pollution. In Brexit: What does it mean for air quality?, we outline key statistics and recommendations for the government to consider during Brexit negotiations and beyond.
The RCP will be sharing content on Twitter throughout National Clean Air Day. You can use the hashtag #CleanAirDay to describe what you are doing to cut your exposure to pollution and to make the air we breathe cleaner.