National Clean Air Day – Thursday 17 June 2021:
Clean Air Day is a global, annual, air pollution campaign in the month of June. It encourages everyone to think about what they can do to help improve air quality.
Air pollution harms the health of millions, but there are lots of simple things people and organisations can do to improve air quality and reduce our exposure to air pollution. Clean Air Day is a chance to raise awareness and find out more about air pollution (both indoor and outdoor), share information with friends, family, union members and work colleagues, and help to make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.
Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today. Poor air quality causes heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues.
By breathing cleaner air, the World Health Organization states that you can reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory diseases such as asthma.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. The campaign normally takes place on the third Thursday in June. However, due to COVID-19, Clean Air Day was rolled out slightly differently in 2020 and again in 2021. To keep people, families, friends and colleagues safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers updated the campaign to be more virtual in 2020 and have continued the approach for 2021!.
Led in the UK by the charity “Global Action Plan“, Clean Air Day brings together communities, businesses, schools, groups and organisations plus the health sector to:
- Improve public understanding of air pollution.
- Build awareness of how air pollution affects people’s health.
- Explain the easy actions we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and peoples’ health.
In 2019 more than 3,700 organisations and hundreds of thousands of individuals took part in 614 events across the UK. The campaign generated more than 2000 media items, and 45,000 social media posts. In pandemic hit 2020 there were still over 200 events that took place with 1200 news and broadcast items and 95% of people surveyed believed that air pollution should be a priority for the UK. The full report is at:
The charity behind Clean Air Day developed new resources for 2020 and again in 2021 which focuses on being virtual and COVID-19 secure, and is encouraging organisations and individuals to get involved.
This year’s campaign theme and tagline is: “protect our children’s health from air pollution” – demonstrating support for action on air pollution to build a clean air future for our children and generations to come. The organisers have sent out the message “Together let’s make June 17 the cleanest Clean Air Day yet” and following the improvement in air pollution seen early last year the charity is continuing to challenge government, businesses and local authorities to help keep air pollution down post lockdown.
The resources have been updated so that Clean Air Day 2021 can continue to be successful in providing information to people on air pollution and encouraging people to take low air pollution behaviours while being COVID-19 secure, with the charity continuing the focus on making the tools and assets more virtual. These include digital leaflets and posters, school lesson plans, PR social media packs, “How to guides” such as organising “School Streets” or running socially distanced “walking buses” and template letters to MPs.
In launching the event “Global Action Plan“, said “Together we can make June 17 the cleanest Clean Air Day yet, building on the shifts seen recently seen in low pollution behaviours. Organisations and individuals are invited to take part, recognising the role we all play in keeping our air clean.”
Use the organising charity’s collection of workplace resources to inspire workplaces to create cleaner air on and beyond Clean Air Day. Posters, clean van commitment, letters, texts, clean air recovery essentials, e-mail footer, pledge cards, ‘No-Idling’ leaflet, clean air travel, clean air travel choices, e-mail and intranet message, video conferencing background, press release, social media resources.
Clean Air Day Information & Resources
The basic facts, air pollution and health, Clean Air Calculator, What you can do etc., plus Clean Air Day free resources are available here:-
The Clean Air Hub
A collection of everything you need to know about air pollution in one place from the organising charity “Global Action Plan”.
Air Pollution and Health Inequalities
Although air pollution can be harmful to everyone, some people are more affected because they live in a polluted area and are exposed to higher levels of air pollution. Big cities and towns experience greater pollution levels (particularly nitrogen dioxide). More than 40 towns and cities in the UK are at or have exceeded air pollution limits set by the World Health Organization, its new report has found; Scunthorpe, Manchester, Swansea, Gillingham, Carlisle, Chepstow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Grays, Eccles, Nottingham, Plymouth, York, Leamington Spa, Sandy, Sheffield, Stoke-On-Trent, London, Coventry, Hull, Londonderry, Middlesbrough, Norwich, Southend-On-Sea, Stockton-On-Tees, Storrington, Wigan, Armagh, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Eastbourne, Harlington, Newcastle, Newport, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Saltash, Southampton, Stanford-Le-Hope, Port Talbot. There’s more about air pollution & health inequalities on the ‘Clean Air Hub’:https://www.cleanairhub.org.uk/
The Clean Air & Pollution Calculator
The Air Pollution Calculator, brought to you by Global Action Plan. This tool enables you to calculate how your activity contributes to pollution levels and learn how you can make a difference for Clean Air Day 2021 and beyond: – http://calculator.cleanairhub.org.uk/quiz
Air Pollution Monitoring Equipment – Offer to CWU Health and Safety Reps
In 2020 Greener Jobs Alliance (GJC) and Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN) jointly took a share in the procurement of air pollution monitoring equipment with Global Action Plan (GAP). The Personal Aerosol Monitor is a miniature battery-operated laser photometer that measures airborne particle mass concentration in units of milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3). The equipment can measure to particulate matter of pm 2.5. TUCAN/GJA/GAP is now looking to loan it out to workplaces to support Trade Union Health and Safety Reps with workplace air pollution monitoring. Any CWU Health and Safety Rep interested in a loan of the equipment for a couple of weeks can email Janet Newsham (Chair Hazards Campaign & TUCAN) and Janet will schedule a time for you to use the equipment and from there hopefully produce some reliable, quotable, statistical evidence.
Chair Hazards Campaign/TUCAN
Greener Jobs Alliance (GJA) and Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN) Newsletters.
The latest editions of the GJA and TUCAN Newsletters have been circulated attached to LTBs 477/20 and 247/21.
Hazards Campaign/Trade Union Clean Air Network(TUCAN) Clean Air Day On-Line Seminar (Tonight 6pm)
Join the Hazards Campaign/TUCAN short seminar looking at what is happening on Clean Air Day and what next for TUCAN?Hazards & TUCAN say – the need for action is clear. The recent verdict at nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debra’s inquest made a direct link between the air pollution she endured and her untimely death and the recent study published by University College London stated that globally we are experiencing at least 8.7 million deaths related to air pollution annually. On Clean Air Day 2021 join the Hazards Campaign/TUCAN panel of experts from across the UK, to discuss what is happening in their country and what TUCAN should be doing to drive forward the air quality agenda throughout UK workplaces. Date and time Thursday 17 June 2021 6pm -7:30pm Join/Register at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hazards-campaign-thursday-talk-clean-air-day-and-what-next-for-tucan-tickets-137598373439
Wales TUC – Greener Workplaces Toolkit For Union Reps (Written BY Graham Petersen)
The aim of this toolkit is to provide information to help union officers and reps who want to take action on the climate emergency and negotiate for greener and fairer workplaces. It is designed to support the voice of workers and their unions. It provides information, tools and ideas to help union reps to campaign, organise and raise awareness. It also includes negotiating and bargaining checklists on different areas of workplace sustainability. It aims to ensure that workers, through their unions, have a central voice in the changes that will be needed in every workplace to ensure a just transition to a greener and fairer workplace can be achieved. The resources in this booklet are designed to be used on TUC and union training courses, as well as to support green action. (A copy is attached)
“Air Pollution” (Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership) – Take Action Environment Bill Campaign
Everyone can use their voice to take action against air pollution say the British Lung Foundation (BLF). “Air Pollution” (Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership) have re-launched their campaign pushing for World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for PM2.5 to be included in the UK Environment Law. They have produced a ‘campaign webpage’ which provides a simple tool to “email your MP” in order for people to ask their MP to commit to supporting new targets and WHO limits that will clean up the air we breathe and tackle pollution in the UK. It only takes 2 minutes and can help make a difference! – ‘Take Action Now says the BLF’ – Air pollution contributes to tens of thousands of early deaths in the UK every year. A BLF survey found that 1 in 6 people with a lung condition told them that better air quality during lockdown helped them breathe more easily. Air pollution is a public health crisis. Dirty air can make symptoms worse and can trigger a flare up if you have a lung condition. New research even suggests that breathing polluted air could increase our risk of becoming very ill with Covid-19. The BLF are asking everyone to contact their MP now using the simple BLF campaign tool as mentioned above. There is also a new video, which you can see on the webpage, which focuses on real human voices and stories calling for WHO limits. They hope that this action will help to ensure that MPs across the country realise what a serious effect air pollution has on people with a lung condition and support the shared call for WHO limits. They are also appealing for personal and organisational help in promoting the campaign. There are a number of resources which you can be used to raise awareness about the campaign on the website at the following link:- https://www.blf.org.uk/take-action/campaign/clean-air/environment-bill
What does pm2.5 mean?
PM2.5 refers to particles that have diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (more than 100 times thinner than a human hair) and remain suspended for longer. These particles are formed as a result of burning fuel and chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in air are high. PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated. Breathing in particle pollution can be harmful to your health. Coarse (bigger) particles, called PM10, can irritate your eyes, nose, and throat. … Fine (smaller) particles, called PM2.5, are more dangerous because they can get into the deep parts of your lungs — or even into your blood.
Environment Agency Webinar on Air Quality Inequity for Clean Air Day 17 June 2021
On Clean Air Day 2021 the Environment Agency will be hosting a Webinar including presentations and panel discussions on environmental equity and presenting interim findings from the ‘Joint Air Quality Health Inequalities’ project. See attached flyer and Zoom Link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84418088277?pwd=L09oU0grYkYraFBVeEVMbTJWTkp2QT09 Meeting ID: 844 1808 8277 Passcode: 7ARbT0
“Greener UK” – and the Environment Bill.
“Greener UK” is a coalition of 13 major environmental organisations (RSPB, National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, WWF, Campaign For Better Transport, Campaign to Protect Rural England, ClientEarth, E3G, Friends of The Earth, Green Alliance, Greenpeace, WWT, Woodland Trust) with a combined public membership of 8 million. The coalition was launched in 2016 – united in the belief of the need to restore and enhance the UK’s environment with a vision of making a greener UK a reality. They say it’s now 200 days since the government’s ‘flagship’ Environment Bill was seen in parliament and Ministers need to bring back the bill urgently and commit to more ambitious clean air laws. Tweet support – the hashtag is: #BringBacktheBill
A wide range of events are taking place for this year’s Clean Air Day – further details are listed on the GAP Events page. Some highlights:-
NHS ConFed conference webinar
Global Action Plan will be speaking at this year’s NHS Confed Conference about the health sector’s critical role in tackling air pollution along with Dr Anant Patel (Royal Free Hospital) and Nick Martin from GOSH to discuss this important topic.
House of Commons All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution webinar
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Air Pollution focusing on the impact of air pollution on children’s health. With contributions from ‘Choked Up’, ‘Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah’, ‘Professor Stephen Holgate’, ‘Geraint Davies’ and ‘Camden Council.’
Inequities, challenges, “AQ Inequalities Project” Webinar
Framing key issues and the main challenges that exist, as well as presenting interim findings from the “Joint Air Quality Inequalities” project. Contributions from the University of West of England, Centric Lab, Global Action Plan and the Met Office.
Businesses’ new responsibility – respecting a child’s right to a clean and healthy environment Webinar
Global Action Plan is organising a business-oriented webinar examining the new corporate responsibility to respect a child’s right to a clean and healthy environment. Contributions from the UN Special Reporter on human rights and the environment, UNICEF UK, Mitsubishi Electric, UK & Ireland, Institute for Human Rights and Business and ENGIE UK.
Clean Air Day Organisers – “Global Action Plan” – Further Information
“Global Action Plan” are a UK Charity registered in England and Wales number 1026148, and in Scotland number SC041260. ‘Global Action Plan is a charity that’s working for a green and thriving planet where we can live happily without ruining the Earth we depend on. They aim to help people live more sustainable lifestyles, make connections between what’s good for people and good for the planet, work with young people on reducing consumerism and increasing wellbeing, bring business and people together to work on a sustainable future and help young people develop the skills and knowledge to tackle environmental issues which is good for the planet and for everyone’s future too.
For further information:-
Global Action Plan
201 Borough High Street
London SE1 1JA
020 3817 7636
Other Useful “Clean Air” Website Links:
- TUCAN Air Pollution Guidance for Trade Union Reps
- Wales TUC – Greener Workplaces Toolkit For Union Reps (Written BY Graham Petersen)
Note: The information and resources in this LTB are to raise awareness and for ongoing reference, information and support beyond the Clean Air Day focal point designed to raise awareness and gain long term support for environmental clean air initiatives.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer