Published Thursday 20 June 2019 at 9:28
Residents across Blackburn with Darwen are being encouraged to tackle air pollution in their communities as part of the national Clean Air Day initiative, which takes places today (June 20).
Blackburn with Darwen Council is also working with local schools, NHS partners and businesses as part of the initiative which aims to improve public understanding of both indoor and outdoor air pollution and how it affects our health, especially that of young children and people with heart and lung problems.
Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign and, in Blackburn with Darwen, several events are taking place to mark the event.
In the week leading up, the Council and local health partners have been sharing Clean Air Day pledges on social media – the pledges include some of the easy things we can all do to tackle air pollution, such as walking or cycling more, using public transport and not idling the car engine.
The Council is also working with Lammack Community Primary School to promote Clean Air Day locally.
On Tuesday, June 18, Councillor Jackie Floyd delivered an assembly to pupils focussing on air pollution and active travel.
The children were also polled early in the week to find out how they travelled to school and then again on Clean Air Day with the hope that, following activity in class and the assembly, more will be encouraged to walk into school with their parents.
On Clean Air Day, a group of residents along with Council staff from the Public Health, Public Protection, Community Safety, Environment and Neighbourhoods teams will be talking to parents outside the school gates about the importance of not idling around schools as well as discussing other ways to tackle air pollution.
Council reps will also attend the school’s fete on Friday, June 21 to promote road safety messages and active travel to school.
Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
We all need to be committed to making these tiny changes – which when added up will hopefully amount to us all having cleaner air to breathe. I pledged to walk to work today and encourage as many people as possible to do the same.
Air pollution has a massive impact on our health – people die from it. This is an issue everyone can help tackle. Clean Air Day is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and family and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.
Dr Stuart Berry, clinical respiratory lead for Pennine Lancashire, said:
Air quality has an impact on the health of our lungs and the entire respiratory system. Breathing polluted air can have devastating consequences, although they might not be obvious straight away. For those with a long-term lung condition such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), this can be particularly distressing.
It’s important to remember though that air pollution doesn’t just affect people who have a lung condition; good, clean air is essential for everyone.