Do watch BBC2 on Wednesday 10 Jan at 9pm.
The programme is called Fighting for Air. It gives a good briefing on the impact of diesel vehicles and how to minimise the impact especially on children.
Fighting for Air…
Air pollution in the UK has been declared a ‘public health emergency’ and Dr Xand van Tulleken is seeing what can be done about it in this programme. Enlisting the help of enthusiasts and sceptics from the Kings Heath community in Birmingham, Xand stages the first ever large-scale experiment of its kind – using people power to try and bring about a quantifiable improvement in air quality for a single day.
Air pollution from our traffic-crowded streets is Britain’s invisible killer. You can’t see the trillions of minute particles produced by exhaust fumes, but they are linked to potentially fatal conditions such as strokes and heart attacks. Even if they don’t kill you, they can seriously affect your everyday life — for instance, triggering asthma attacks.
And yet, even though air pollution causes 50,000 premature deaths every year in Britain, it’s somehow not adequately recognised as one of the nation’s major lethal threats.
Sixteen of our big cities, including London, Manchester, Oxford and Southampton, are exposed to illegal rates of toxic fumes. As well as the individual cost in terms of ill health, this costs the country an estimated £20 billion a year in medical care and lost labour.
Clearly, the politicians aren’t doing enough to protect us. But what can we do ourselves?
Henley in Transition