Clean Air Day Helped Double Public Knowledge of Air Pollution

The charity behind Clean Air Day has published a report that highlights how knowledge about air pollution has doubled to over 82% since the annual event was launched in 2017.

Global Action Plan (GAP) says 614 Clean Air Day events took place across the UK on June 20 last year, with 400,000 people taking part in events from walking buses and flagship announcements, to electric vehicle roadshows and street parties.

Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, is supported by over 200 organisations including Public Health England, the British Heart Foundation, Defra, the Scottish Government, UNICEF and various NHS trusts and local authorities.

When the event launched in 2017, fewer than half of the UK public (41%) said they felt knowledgeable about the health impacts of air pollution. But a recent survey undertaken by GAP has revealed that, following the Clean Air Day campaign, 77% of people can name a health condition associated with air pollution, such as asthma.

It also revealed that 82% of people feel that their health is impacted by outdoor air pollution, while 70% feel their health is impacted by indoor air pollution – suggesting that levels of public knowledge about this topic could have doubled.

People’s understanding of their role in tackling air pollution also seems to have increased. Before Clean Air Day 2018, 68% of people felt their day-to-day actions could have a direct impact on the air quality in their local environment.

Following Clean Air Day 2019, 88% of people felt that their actions could make a positive difference to the quality of air they breathe – that’s potentially 10 million people in the UK.

The report also highlighted how the media helped to promote Clean Air Day events. In 2019 over 2,000 news and broadcast items carried Clean Air Day stories with an equivalent advertising value of £11m.

This year’s Clean Air Day will be held on June 18. To find out about how to get involved click here.

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