National Clean Air Day
Air pollution can affect our health throughout our lives but some, including children and people, pregnant people and people with heart and lung conditions, are more vulnerable to its impacts than others.
Today is National Clean Air Day, and across the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS, we are keen to raise awareness of the dangers of air pollution, and some of the things we can do to combat it.
The theme of this year’s Clean Air Day to clean up our air to look after your mind.
Did you know…
- Children’s organs and immune systems continue to develop after birth, and as such that makes them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water?
- There is a link between being exposed to high levels of air pollution and low birth weight, and it can lead to premature birth or pregnancy loss?
- In addition to the damage that can be done to your physical health throughout your life by air pollution, there is now research to suggest that air pollution could worsen brain functions, such as memory, and increase the risk of dementia?
Dr Helena Clements [Title] said: “Figures show that every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.
“By taking clean air action on June 15, and every day, we are improving our air quality and reducing our risk of developing mental health and brain conditions.
“Just taking a few minutes in your day to go and find an open space and take a few deep breaths can be so beneficial to our mental health.”
In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, we are lucky to have ‘GreenSpace’- our green social prescribing service. GreenSpace is a way of connecting people to nature-based activities and green groups, projects and schemes in their local community.
Dr Clements added: “Evidence shows that being more connected to nature and, through doing this, connecting with other people helps us experience lower levels of stress, fatigue and anxiety.
“Green social prescribing is a growing movement which carries this principle forward, providing much-needed support to people who are struggling with their mental health, by connecting them with community groups, and local green initiatives for practical and emotional support.
“The Children and Young People’s Team have worked with children from local school Eco Clubs to create posters to be displayed in General Practice Waiting rooms. Children are increasingly aware of the importance of clean air and green spaces for their own health and wellbeing and that our actions to improve air quality are also good for the climate”
Visit https://www.cleanairhub.org.uk for more information about Clean Air Day, and Green Social Prescribing – NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB to find out more about green social prescribing.