Clean Air Day brings together different communities, businesses, educational institutes, and health sector facilities to participate in the largest air pollution campaign in the UK, which suffers from an estimated 36,000 air pollution-linked deaths every year.
Clean Air Day 2022: What’s the Big Deal?
This year's event, set to take place on June 16th, will mark five years of the Clean Air Day campaign. To mark the occasion, the Global Action Plan charity has published the Clean Air Day 2021 Celebration and Insights Report, which revealed significant progress in bringing awareness to air pollution.
According to the report:
82% of the UK public believe in prioritizing solutions for the air pollution problem.
64% say they now opt for walking or cycling rather than vehicles when having to travel relatively short distances.
70% now report using quieter or less polluted routes when walking or cycling, a 28% increase from 2017.
In its sixth year, the Clean Air Day campaign seeks to raise public awareness to this lesser-known impact of air pollution, and aims to drive action at the legislative, business and individual level.
What’s this Year’s Clean Air Day Theme?
This year’s Clean Air Day campaign focuses on the reality that “Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.”
This alarming statement is not hyperbole. While many understand that air pollution exposure can impact respiratory health, the damage doesn’t end there. When we inhale polluted air, the contaminants can enter our bloodstream, enabling them to reach every organ in the body.
What is the Impact of Air Pollution On the Body?
Research shows that air pollution impacts every part of our bodies, including organs like the lungs and heart and less obvious areas like our brains, and reproductive systems:
PM2.5 Increases Heart Disease Risk by up to 18% Per Unit Increase
Air pollution exposure raises blood pressure and increases cardiac arrest risk. In fact, heavy smoke exposure contributed to up to 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests during the devastating 2020 California wildfire season. Learn more here.
Air Pollution Exposure Impacts Early Brain Development in the Womb
Researchers identified prenatal exposure to air pollution as a risk factor for the development of autism and ADHD. More info here.
Pregnant Woman Nearly 13% More Likely to Have a Miscarriage Due to PM & Ozone Pollution
In addition to this, researchers found worsening air pollution resulting from climate change can also have an impact on low birth weights, congenital defects, and premature births. Read more here.
Air Pollution Worsens Athletic Performance
Researchers found that, beyond the health impact, an athlete’s ability to perform is also affected by short-term exposure to local air pollution conditions. Find out more here
Everyday Should Be ‘Clean Air Day’ for Businesses
Bringing awareness to air pollution and the many different ways it impacts our health shouldn’t be a 1-day affair but a daily priority, 365 times a year.
While the UN continues working on global air pollution mitigation for blue skies and clean air for everyone, local governments, private organizations and businesses big and small can help bring awareness to the global air quality problem and help tackle our huge public health air pollution problem.
Simply put, businesses that adopt environmental awareness and climate resilience trends stand to make a major positive impact on public health and increase market potential as consumers prioritize their health now more than ever before.
How Businesses Can Make an Impact Beyond Clean Air Day
Although solving the global air pollution problem is a complex process requiring major collaborations between governments, there are many things that businesses and organizations can do right now, which also make business sense:
1. Provide Users with Current Air Pollution Data & Air Quality Forecasts
Offering users live air quality information tailored to their specific location enables them to minimize exposure to harmful environmental hazards 24/7. With hourly air quality forecasts, users routinely rely on your product to inform their daily and weekly plans.
2. Educate Consumers with Tools Such as Interactive Pollution Maps, & Time-Lapse Videos of Pollution at their Location
Translating raw environmental data into a digestible form such as color-coded heatmaps helps make invisible air pollution visible and easy to understand. Businesses that engage users with their products this way can improve brand reputation by associating it with environmental awareness and health.
3. Send Notifications via Smartphones & Connected Devices with Personalized Air Pollution Data
Tailored environmental insights persuade users to inform daily decision-making and adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Businesses that leverage personalized environmental insights empower users to proactively participate in their own protection and pay more attention to input from the brand.