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Get involved in Clean Air Day 2022

save the date 16 June

The percentage of people aged 30 and over in east London whose deaths are linked to air pollution is on average higher than the rest of London, and 2% higher than the national average*.

Among these east London boroughs, Newham (7.8%), City of London (7.6%) and Tower Hamlets (7.6%) have the highest percentage of deaths associated with air pollution, with Waltham Forest not far behind (7.4%).

With long-term exposure to air pollution also associated with chronic illnesses such as lung disease, heart disease, dementia and strokes, and short-term exposure known to impact lung function and aggravate asthma, it’s time to take action and tackle the problem.

That’s why this Clean Air Day (16th June), we’re calling on all those who live, work and study in these boroughs that we serve, and across east London more widely, to think about how they can help decrease air pollution levels in their local area and reduce their exposure to it.

We’re playing our part by promoting “Car Free June” amongst our staff, giving colleagues the opportunity to challenge themselves and live car free for at least two weeks in June, in the run up to Clean Air Day. To help with the challenge, we’re lending a number of staff a Brompton folding electric bike.

On top of this, we’re hosting a webinar on active travel and how to overcome barriers to it on Clear Air Day, 16 June, from 6-7pm via MS Teams. Getting involved in active travel like walking or cycling is one of the easiest ways to reduce air pollution. By swapping car rides for cycling or walking for everyday journeys, people can improve their mood and physical health and help improve air quality. Using public transport will also make a difference, as it reduces the number of cars on the road and our individual carbon footprint.

And in our latest Treating You podcast, out on the 16 July, we talk about the impact of air pollution on health.

Andrew Attfield, associate director of public health at Barts Health NHS Trust said: "Air pollution is one of the greatest health challenges of our time, especially for inner-city boroughs, and our healthcare staff see this every day. As a trust, we recognise the importance of being sustainable and that we play a role in improving air quality, so I’m thrilled we’re supporting staff and local residents to play a part in tackling air pollution this clean air day."

Beyond Clean Air Day, we’re working to become a greener, more sustainable trust, by reducing our carbon footprint through our Green Plan and Active Travel plan and by working with other hospitals, local communities and NHS partners.

Individuals can also take steps to reduce their exposure to high levels of air pollution by checking online air pollution updates such Defra Pollution Forecast and the Mayor of London’s Clean Air Route Finder. Using these tools can help people avoid polluted areas and plan safer routes.

*Data source: Public Health Outcomes Framework; figures are averages for 2020.

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