Updated: Jun 13
Investing in better air quality for our planet is essential for a healthy and sustainable future. On this Earth Day, let us take a moment to reflect on how air pollution affects us and the world around us.
We must take proactive steps to reduce air pollution by monitoring it closely and investing in solutions that will make a real difference to people’s lives. This includes investing in better technologies that can help reduce the risks associated with air pollution, such as respiratory illnesses, climate change, and other environmental issues. By investing in our planet now, we can ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy clean air and a healthy environment.
The health impacts of air pollution
Poor air quality can lead to many wide-ranging health issues, especially for at-risk groups such as those with existing illnesses, those that are pregnant, the elderly and children. It is therefore important to understand air quality in their environment and take steps to improve it and therefore reduce exposure to harmful pollutants in the air.
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that 93% of the world’s children under the age of 15 breathe air that is so polluted that it puts their health and development at serious risk. Also, estimates show that in 2016, 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air.
Public Health England state that “The 3 main conditions associated with air pollution are respiratory conditions (such as asthma), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and lung cancer, and there is emerging evidence for associations with dementia, low birth weight and Type 2 diabetes”. It is also estimated that long-term exposure to man-made air pollution in the UK has an annual effect equivalent to between 28,000 - 36,000 deaths.
Particular matter (PM) is a generic term used to describe a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of varying size, shape, and composition. The reason PM can impact health is that smaller particles can be drawn deeper into the lungs. Extensive evidence shows that long-term exposure to PM increases health risks. There has also been some experimental evidence, that ultrafine particles may also pass through the lungs into the bloodstream.
To find out more about steps you can take to keep yourself safe and to find out more about cleaner air visit Global Action Plans’ clean air hub here: https://www.cleanairhub.org.uk/home
How technology can accelerate the transition to sustainability
Individuals, governments, institutions, and businesses are all responsible for the environment, reducing the impact on it from day-to-day activities. The Earth Day 2023 theme ‘Invest in our planet’ is focused on reframing the conversation, accelerating action, and bringing everyone together to understand that this is within our reach if we work together. At EarthSense, as air quality experts, we understand the detrimental effects of air pollution on the environment and people’s health. We genuinely care about the air we all breathe. This is why we are committed to raising awareness of the impacts of air pollution and delivering technology-focused solutions that enable the world to visualise and manage its environmental challenges for the betterment of human health.
Tom Hall, MD at EarthSense says “Introducing disruptive technologies helps to accelerate sustainable urbanisation. It is important that we invest in our planet now to make a difference for future generations”.
Technology is rapidly changing the way people monitor and manage their environmental impacts, and tighter regulations and a focus on sustainability are pushing actions to reduce the impact on the planet.
Using real-time quality datasets helps identify pollution hotspots at a localised level such as busy road junctions. Extensive data-driven insights are being used for city-wide pollution initiatives to aid the development of smarter and cleaner towns and cities.
Once insights are available on air pollution, data-driven decisions can then be made and action can be taken. Cities can implement clean air zones to reduce pollution levels within city centres, smart infrastructure design can help minimise risk, funding for green infrastructure can be secured and even traffic control can be optimised to reduce pollution.
Also, with more understanding of air pollution, individuals can make behaviour changes to help reduce exposure. Taking less polluted journeys to work or school, reducing the use of personal vehicles, reducing the use of wood-burning fires, and avoiding high pollution zones are all actions that can be taken if the pollution is being monitored.
If you want to find out more about how we can help you with an air quality project, contact us here: https://www.earthsense.co.uk/contact