Air Pollution

A monumental fall in UK emissions only calls for an acceleration of climate action

Industrial revolution smoke stacks

What’s going on here? A recent study conducted by the Carbon Brief recorded a 5.7% fall in the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2023 compared to the previous year. Emissions in 2023 fell to their lowest level since 1879, with carbon dioxide emissions dropping below 400MtCO2e (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) for the first time since Victorian times.  The primary cause of…

The stark reality of air pollution for all of us

What is going on here?  The World Health Organisation’s top environmental health expert, Maria Neira, has warned that delays in addressing the impacts of air pollution will have dire consequences for global health. On the eve of COP28, she gave the following warning: “Whether they like it or not – whether they know it or not – the negotiators at Cop are…

Air quality filters accidentally collecting biodiversity data

A badger in the wild

Whatʼs going on here? Air quality monitoring stations dotted around the planet have been inadvertently collecting airborne environmental DNA (eDNA) without anybody noticing, finds a new report. The remarkable discovery reveals that thousands of filters routinely testing for pollutants are unintentionally breathing in trace eDNA shed by animals, plants, and fungi. What does this mean? In recent years, researchers have discovered eDNA…

Clean air – a human right?

What’s going on here? Last week a new bill entitled the “Clean Air (Human Rights) Act” had its first reading in the House of Lords.  What does this mean? This is the first step in enshrining in UK law the right to clean air across all forms of pollution.  The law will be known as “Ella’s Law” after Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (pictured), a…

Clean Air Day: Reducing air pollution levels by 20% could improve children’s ability to learn by one month per year!

What’s Going On Here? Global Action Plan, the Philips Foundation and the University of Manchester (UoM) reveal results from new modelling which suggests that maintaining lower air pollution levels by 20% could improve the development of a child’s working memory by 6%, the equivalent of four weeks extra learning time per year. The announcement has been made today, 8th October on National Clean Air…

Which household items create as much air pollution as your car?

What’s Going On Here? Household products like nail varnish, air freshener and detergents could pollute just as much—if not MORE—than vehicles. What Does This Mean? We’re talking about VOCs. As some chemistry buffs may already know, this is not some new millennial slang, but stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs have a high vapour pressure at room temperature, meaning they release “off-gas” in…

Clean Air Day 2019

What’s Going On Here? Thursday 20th June (Today!) marks the UK’s largest clean air campaign, Clean Air Day, co-ordinated by our friends over at Global Action Plan. The event highlights the significance of air quality on human health, but most importantly provides a platform to share ideas that will improve air quality and the health of ourselves and those around us. What Does…