Air pollution has significantly reduced over the past 50 years, however, current levels continue to have a significant effect on our health. Many of the pollutants are invisible to the eye but act as respiratory irritants, both long and short-term exposure is known to adversely affect health through exacerbation of asthma, effects on lung function and increases in respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions.
Most air pollution is caused by traffic on the roads near to where we live, work and play. But there are lots of simple things we can do to improve air quality and look after our own and other people’s health.
While most people will not be affected by short-term peaks in ambient air pollution, some people, such as those with existing heart or lung conditions, may experience increased symptoms.
On occasions where levels are high those at risk should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if experiencing symptoms and have medication to hand if you have asthma.More tips on what to do and online resources are available from National Clean Air Day (external site)
Any reduction in levels of pollution will lead to improvements in public health.
Open fires and wood burning stoves can release smoke which has a negative effect on air quality. By following the simple steps outlined in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' practical guide, you can help to reduce the environmental and health impacts of emissions from this source.
More information on air quality monitoring, emission sources and associated health impacts is available from Lancashire Insight.
Collective report from the Lancashire and Cumbria Directors of Public Health highlighting air quality issues across the region.