Campaign to highlight occupational cancer risks

Health and safety professionals are to discuss the challenge of tackling occupational cancer during a meeting in Birmingham.

Campaign to highlight occupational cancer risks

It is estimated that around 8,000 people die from cancer and roughly 14,000 contract the disease each year in the UK because of exposure to a work-related carcinogen, such as diesel exhaust fumes, silica dust or asbestos fibres.

The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) are running a campaign namely, No Time to Lose, which is seeking to cast a spotlight on work cancers and to help businesses and other organisations identify and overcome risks to employees.

Members of IOSH’s Midland Branch are due to debate the campaign and the issues it raises at the Hollyfields Centre Club, in Woodacre Road, Erdington, from 2pm on Thursday 5 February. Continue reading

Cleaner air for urban dwellers

The world is urbanising and people are migrating to city centres for many reasons. We see this trend in statistics: more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities today and the World Health Organisation (WHO) expects this proportion to increase in coming years.urban living

This urbanisation trend is impacting the economic, social and political setup of countries and regions. Urban crowding is also affecting life at street level – the air we breathe. In many metropolises, concentrations of particulate matter and harmful gases are already higher than WHO’s recommended limits.

Vehicle emissions – especially the content of diesel exhaust – are very much the villain in this drama and we need to be more aware about the dangers of breathing everything from very fine particles (PM2.5) to harmful gases like nitrogen dioxide. Continue reading

Scotland breaks EU air quality standards as pollution becomes a ‘public health crisis’

The air pollution in Scotland’s towns and cities is creating a public health crisis, according to environmental campaigners. Scotland’s streets continue to break European air quality standards as the country wrestles with an invisible “public health crisis” costing thousands of lives and billions of pounds.

Scotland breaks EU air quality standards as pollution becomes a 'public health crisis'

This claim by Friends of the Earth Scotland came after they analysed official data for two toxic pollutants. The group said the latest figures showed pollution levels were continuing to break Scottish and European limits.

However, ministers defended their record, saying they were working hard, along with councils, to improve air quality. Friends of the Earth Scotland examined two key pollutants, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter – tiny particles which are pumped into the air by diesel vehicles.

Particulate matter is tiny ‘coarse’ particles released by diesel-fuelled vehicles that, like NO2, causes respiratory problems and exacerbates other health conditions. Experts estimate that Scottish air pollution kills 2,000 people a year — more than alcohol-related to road-accident deaths put together.

The environmental group said air pollution had worsened in several areas, including Whitehall Street in Dundee; it found that air pollution had worsened in several areas over the last year. High levels of NO2 are linked to asthma and other respiratory problems. Continue reading