MPs launch inquiry into Defra’s role in tackling air quality

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) have launched an inquiry into air quality in the UK.

Clean airDefra has a vital role in ensuring that all individuals in the UK can breathe clean air. The Department is currently consulting on how the UK can meet EU Directive requirements for limiting emissions of nitrogen dioxide. But it also has a wider role in tackling the harmful levels of many other pollutants emitted by the transport, energy and industrial sectors as well as from households and farming.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into air quality in the UK.

Neil Parish, Chair of the Committee, said:

“Airborne pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, particulates and sulphur dioxide damage people’s health and the UK’s environment. But the UK is failing to meet EU air pollution limits. 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

Schools fail indoor air quality tests

Earlier this month, Camfil’s Air Quality and Building Energy Expert, Peter Dyment presented at the Education Estates Conference at Manchester Central. Education Estates is a two-day exhibition and conference which brings together the education sector from primary schools to Universities as well as experts in design, construction, project management, engineering and energy efficiency to share best practice and learn from each other.

Peter’s presentation “Indoor Air Quality for School Buildings” discussed the importance of clean air in schools and demonstrated that clean indoor air quality improves learning.

To view the full presentation, click here:

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