Derry urged to cut air pollution for national Clean Air Day

Mon, 05/10/2020 - 14:34 -- Editor

Derry City and Strabane District Council are urging the public to learn more about how they can make local air cleaner and healthier this Clean Air Day on Thursday October 8th.The aim of the annual event is for the public to find out more about air pollution, share information with colleagues, schools and communities and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Brian Tierney, urged the people to use the day to learn more about how their actions can have an impact on air pollution levels. It is important to get the message across that we can all help improve air quality and health by taking individual measures that will collectively make a difference."Air pollution is a global problem that harms the health of millions," he said. "There are many simple changes to our daily routine that can improve local air quality and protect the public's health."Air pollution has an impact on your health from your first breath to your last, as the damage to our health can start when we're a baby and carry on through into old age."Air pollution is a problem that has solutions and there are simple steps we can all take to help avoid toxic air and cut down on the pollution we emit.Clean Air Day is a UK wide initiative supported by hundreds of local authorities, NHS trusts, health charities, universities and community groups encouraging as many people as possible to do something different to reduce air pollution.Examples include using the car less or driving more effectively to reduce emissions, switching to electric cars, taking public transport, walking or cycling where possible and being mindful of reducing pollution levels by using smokeless fuels and approved appliances if using a coal or wood fire at home.Last year, Council worked with strategic partners DAERA, the Public Health Agency, Sustrans and DfI Roads Service to undertake activities such as working with primary schools in Derry and Strabane, information stands in the Alley Centre, Strabane and Brooke Park, Derry, walk to work on the day by Council staff, active travel activities and erection of temporary signage at traffic pollution hotspots encouraging drivers to "Switch off Engines where possible" when stationary at traffic lights.Oak saplings also continue to be distributed, as part of Council's Life Project to members of the public who register births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, to encourage the planting of trees which also helps improve air quality by reducing pollution levels.This year, due to Covid restrictions, the public are encouraged to support Clean Air Day Live online at cleanairday.org.uk with virtual scheduled programming for schools, campaigners, local and national authorities, health professionals, business and the general public.For further local and national information on air quality visit derrystrabane.com/airquality.