Clean Air Day 2022: What is it and how can you take part?

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

From smoke lingering in your home to smog settling over the capital, air pollution is a massive threat to public health.

According to the UK government and the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution is one of the largest environmental health risks we face today.

Although London is no longer in the top 100 on IQAir’s list of “most polluted cities” in the world, thousands of annual deaths in the capital have been attributed to the problem.

In partnership with the Global Action Plan, Clean Air Day is here to clear the air and find practical solutions to this global concern.

What is Clean Air Day?

“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,” organisers have said.

The day is about raising awareness of the issue and, quite literally, taking small steps to tackle the issue.

When is Clean Air Day?

The sixth iteration of this day falls on Thursday, June 16 2022.

Falling in a warmer month, this year’s campaign will allow participants to take advantage of good weather to walk short distances in place of a car journey, where possible.

Extinction Rebellion protest against air pollution kills in London

What is the theme this year?

The theme for Clean Air Day 2022 is focused on personal health.

The official slogan for the campaign is: “Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.”

Air pollution can have adverse effects on every organ in the body by inflaming the lung’s lining and spreading to the bloodstream.

It can also exacerbate chronic illness and cause lung cancer, heart disease and strokes.

The environmental health issue also poses a risk by making people more vulnerable to the Covid-19 variants.

Walking falls under community and personal action, to increase your own health and fitness – and contribute less towards pollution.

How can I take part?

The primary action for the 2022 campaign is walking.

This action can have an impact on reducing pollution and creating a basis for communities to build events and promote safety.

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

People are also being encouraged to ask local decision-makers for help in creating safe and accessible walkways, as well as finding solutions for pollution.

Visit Global Action Plan’s Clean Air Hub to check pollution forecasts and check your personal pollution footprint through the Clean Air calculator.

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