British Safety Council response to Neil Parish MP
The British Safety Council is pleased that air pollution is being taken seriously by the Government, but we must remember that clean air is also an occupational issue.
The British Safety Council wants to see a dramatic reduction in pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, and calls for a step-change in how we address diesel emissions. That is why we are supporting a range of measures from industry and the Government, including a growth in manufacturing of electric cars, the Ultra-Low Emission Zones and actions based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle, such as penalties for idling.
We also need better air pollution data across the country, such as that produced by King’s College’s London Air Quality Network (LAQN). With the publication of research by British Lung Foundation showing that more than 2,000 health centres in Great Britain are in areas which exceed safe air pollution limits for particulates, one of the most dangerous air pollutants, better information must be the basis of any action to reduce emissions. The Budget should ensure the necessary resources are available to build a more accurate picture of the air we are breathing.
Yet today, too many people are working for too many hours next to or near busy roads. With 40,000 early deaths linked to UK air pollution and an absence of research into the specific effects of pollution on the health outdoor workers, we are launching a new campaign in 2019 to highlight this issue. The Royal College of Physicians have already identified those who work on or near busy roads as a vulnerable group in their 2016 report, Every Breath We Take.
Please get in touch to find out more about the campaign and the tools we are developing to improve worker health.
Matthew Holder is Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council. He is running its air pollution campaign email@example.com