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Clean Air Day facts and tips

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Thursday 21 June is Clean Air Day. Here are a few facts you might not know about air pollution and other substances that can harm your lungs:

Outdoor air pollution

It is impossible to know exactly how many people die as a result of air pollution as it is never given as a cause of death but a report published by the Royal Society of Physicians in 2016 estimated it could be as many as 40,000 deaths a year in the UK.

The World Health Organization claims that 43% of all lung disease and lung cancer deaths worldwide are the result of air pollution.

You might think being inside a car would protect you from air pollution but it doesn't. In fact, car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than a cyclist.    

The amount of pollution drops the further you are away from a road. That means that by moving just 1-2 metres away from the main flow of traffic you can reduce your exposure to air pollution. 

You can lower your exposure to air pollution when you’re on a bike or on foot/wheels by up to about 20% by using quieter streets rather than busy roads where possible.

Indoor air pollution

It's not just the air outdoors that can be polluted, the air inside can cause problems too. For tips on how to reduce your exposure to indoor air pollutants visit the Clean Air Day website.

Most of the smoke from cigarettes, cigars and pipes goes into the air around you, so anyone near you will breathe that smoke in and be at risk of the same diseases as you. The best choice is to quit smoking, but if you are struggling to do this then making your car and home smoke-free can help to protect your loved ones.For more information about smoking and sources of support to help you quit, visit the My City Health website.