Air pollution is gases and particles in the air that impacts our health. In Bristol the worst sources are nitrogen dioxide, which mostly comes from traffic, and Particulate Matter, which comes from sources such as wood burning stoves.
Bristol’s air pollution levels are illegal and have been for over twenty years. Our dirty air damages the health of our children, communities, economy and planet, and has a disproportionate impact on many communities.
Read on to learn more about why we need clean air right now.
Dirty air is killing Bristol citizens.
- 300 extra deaths per year are attributed to toxic air in Bristol. The proposed clean air zone is suspected to only save around 20 of these.
- Toxic air is worsening the pandemic. The European Society of Cardiology has found that 14% of Coronavirus deaths could be attributed to air pollution.
Air pollution is a public health crisis. Some of the conditions it contributes to are:
- Asthma, impaired lung function, premature heart disease and cancer.
- Low birth weight and premature birth and stunted lung growth.
Healthy air is a human right that has been denied to the people of Bristol for far too long.
Dirty air has a disproportional impact on many communities.
- Across England the worst air pollution levels are seen in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods.
- Hispanic, Asian, and Black individuals have a higher risk of premature death from particle pollution than White people.
- Traffic pollution is often worse in lower socio-economic areas. This is despite the fact that these communities are the least responsible for causing this pollution.
Air quality is a social justice issue. The communities affected deserve a quick solution and a just implementation.
Dirty air shouldn’t be the price of back-to-business. In fact air pollution is bad for the economy.
- The monetary benefit of acting on Bristol air pollution is estimated at £80 million a year.
- Dirty air worsens the quality of our work environments.
- It decreases productivity and increases the number of sick days we need to take.
Meanwhile, the solutions to dirty air are often good for prosperity and local businesses.
- Pedestrianisation and streets with fewer cars have been shown to encourage more people to shop locally within their community.
- Economists say low-carbon, green industries provide a range of skilled employment opportunities within a sustainable economic model.
Clean air is everyone’s business.
We are in a climate and ecological emergency. Air pollution is not only harming our health but that of other species and the climate.
- Nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide and depletes the ozone layer.
- It is also linked to acid rain which damages plants, trees and buildings.
- Particulate matter from diesel engines darkens polar ice, contributing to global warming.
- Dirty air is dramatically changing the natural environment. It affects plant and tree growth, and contributes to biodiversity loss.
Acting on dirty air improves our well-being now and for the future.
This is a crisis, yet in the twenty years that our air has been illegal, our councils have only offered up inaction, delays and plans that are quickly shelved. Our Air, Our City is here to say enough is enough. This is a crisis and we need clean air right now!
Read more about the history of council failings here.
Let’s push for clean air in Bristol together.