Why is air quality important?
Good Air Quality is fundamental healthy living and ensuring our emissions to air do not impact on the environment as well. By reducing pollutant emissions we are also helping to fight Climate Change and deliver a more sustainable lifestyle.
It is estimated that long term exposure to man-made air pollution in the UK has an annual effect equivalent to 28,000 to 36,000 deaths (Public Health England – Nov 18).
Protecting the health of people
What affects Air Quality?
Air pollution builds up in towns and cities where it can become trapped between buildings, especially in still weather. Levels of air pollution are generally higher during rush hours and close to busy roads. In more rural locations, levels of ozone increase during the afternoon, particularly in hot weather.
If you are sensitive to the effects of air pollution, it may be appropriate to limit the length of time spent in locations where peak air pollution concentrations occur. For instance, walking and taking exercise along back roads rather than beside busy roads will reduce your exposure to traffic pollution.
By changing your exercise routine you can reduce your exposure. For example, in summer it’s best to exercise in the morning when ozone concentrations are lower (note: the health benefit of exercise is generally thought to be much greater than the adverse health effects of air pollution).
How can I find out about local air pollution levels?
You can sign up for our free air quality alert service for Sussex:
The national Daily Air Quality Index has been developed to provide advice on expected levels of air pollution. The Index has four bands indicating the degree of air pollution and the health risk: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/air-pollution/daqi
There are also things you can do to reduce pollution.