Clean Air Day 2023
National Clean Air Day is an annual event that raises awareness about the importance of clean air for our health and the environment. This significant day aims to inspire individuals, communities, and organisations to take action towards reducing air pollution and improving air quality.
This year’s Clean Air Day is on the 15th of June and the theme for this year is ‘Clean Up Our Air to Look After Your Mind’.
How does air pollution affect us?
Cleaning up our air is good for us in many ways: it not only benefits our physical health and the environment but can also protect our mental and brain health. The physical health impacts of air pollution – such as asthma, heart disease and cancers – have been recognised for decades. More recently, researchers are beginning to understand how air pollution can affect the brain and the mind.
People who breathe polluted air are more likely to develop mental health and brain conditions. Being exposed to air pollution is linked to mental health and brain conditions such as depression, anxiety and dementia. When a person breathes polluted air, small pollution particles can enter through the lungs, into the bloodstream and can reach the brain.
Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK. The World Health Organisation and the UK Government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today.
This year’s campaign will encourage people to visit the Clean Air Hub to:
- Learn: find out more about how air pollution impacts our mental, physical and the planet’s health.
- Act: walk, wheel or use public transport to reduce your exposure and contribution to air pollution. If you drive, try leaving the car behind on Clean Air Day and one day every week.
- Ask: get in touch with your local councillor to ask them to support clean air measures that make it easier for you to breathe clean air.
The History of National Clean Air Day
National Clean Air Day was established in the United Kingdom by the environmental charity Global Action Plan. The inaugural event took place in 2017, and since then, it has grown into a nationally recognized campaign. The day serves as a platform to highlight the impacts of air pollution, raise awareness, and drive action towards cleaner air and a healthier environment.