29 January 2017
St Albans District Green Party is again warning of the public health dangers caused by high air pollution levels. This follows official government warnings about pollution levels across southeast England in January.
St Albans District Green Party is calling on Herts County Council and the District Council to take urgent action to tackle this public health emergency. The Greens’ own air quality monitoring in a number of localities last year showed that many people face real risks to their health.
Keith Cotton, Green candidate for Central Division in the upcoming County Council elections said: “Action is way overdue. As a start the Councils should clean up buses and taxis, make walking and cycling safer and more attractive, and make our streets healthier. Doing nothing is not acceptable.”
“Local authorities have had responsibilities for improving the health of their local population since 2013”, he added. “How long will it take for our local councils to take these duties seriously and make tackling air pollution a priority?”
Meanwhile Green councillor Simon Grover successfully asked a recent Council committee meeting to send back a paid-for report on air quality in the district. “The report was very badly written and so full of jargon as to be unintelligible”, said Simon. A majority of the committee members agreed, and voted for the report to be sent back to the consultants who wrote it, to be improved and made suitable for public consumption.
For those parts of the country forecast to have very high levels of ambient air pollution, Public Health England is advising people to reduce physical exertion, particularly when outdoors and especially if they experience symptoms such as a cough or sore throat. Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people, in areas where very high levels are recorded should avoid strenuous physical activity. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.
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