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The true impact of poor air quality: Clean Air Day - 16 June

Posted on: 27 May 2022

Air pollution continues to be an area of real concern in Tower Hamlets, contributing to upwards of 36,000 deaths every year. Sadly, in the UK we regularly breach EU legal limits and WHO guidelines for pollutants. 

All seven London Boroughs are in the top 10 areas in England that have the highest proportion of deaths attributable to air pollution.

Poor air quality and pollution can affect the development of the lungs and cause premature birth. It can affect the immune system, suppress organ development, and impact on all parts of the body. It suppresses lung function and causes exacerbations of asthma with worsening airway inflammation. Those with existing respiratory diseases are the most vulnerable. 

Poor indoor air quality

Children who are exposed to second and third-hand smoke breathe in chemicals from the air, parents’ skin, clothing, and furniture. Children living with parents that smoke are more likely to have a higher rate of airway infections like bronchiolitis and pneumonia, higher rates of asthma and wheeze symptoms with more attacks which can be life-threatening. They will need more asthma medication for longer periods and have lower lung function which will persist into adulthood. 

Damp and mouldy housing can put you more at-risk of colds, viral infections, and allergic rhinitis.

To access support on this, reach out to Shelter or make a complaint via the housing-ombudsman. The tenants advice is a no-win claim service that will advise and support from a legal point of view.

Parents, for further information on how you can improve your children’s air quality, click the links below. 

View the leaflet

View the resources