11 June 2017
Thursday 15th June is Clean Air Day and local campaigners are calling for real action, from both central and local governments.
St Albans air quality expert and Green campaigner Keith Cotton says air pollution is killing people and this will only stop with concerted action.
“The last Clean Air Act was a response to 12,000 deaths in the Great Smog of the 1950s,” said Mr Cotton. “We’re now looking at 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK caused by air pollution – that’s around 100 in St Albans district. So we need a new Clean Air Act, to save the air we breathe.”
Air pollution is linked to heart disease, strokes and cancer and other medical conditions. It can trigger asthma attacks and other breathing problems.
Babies and children are particularly vulnerable. Polluted air can damage their lungs and their physical and mental development. Adults with breathing and heart conditions and older people are also at risk.
St Albans Green Party are also calling for more effort from the local council. “The Council has a duty to protect our health,” said Green Councillor Simon Grover. “I’ve been pushing for anti-idling measures, clean buses and electric taxis, and it’s good to see there’s finally a bit of movement on this. But the Council must do much much more. This is an urgent health crisis.”
Greens say St Albans needs a fully electric taxi fleet, low-pollution buses and a full strategy for safe and secure cycling across the district.
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