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  • Writer's pictureMikeF

Clean Air: Why It Matters and How to Achieve It!

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

A clean air sun set image at Broadhaven Beech, South Wales

Clean air is a precious resource that often goes unnoticed until it's compromised. But what exactly is clean air, and why is it so important? In this blog, we'll explore the characteristics of clean air, the threats posed by pollutants, and how we can achieve and maintain clean air quality through various means, including our own innovative solution, Clean Air by Resysten.

Why Clean Air matters!

Fighting air pollution and advocating for cleaner air is of paramount importance due to its direct impact on human health, the environment, and global well-being. Air pollution is a leading cause of respiratory diseases, cardiovascular issues, and premature death. It also damages ecosystems, contributes to climate change, and hinders economic growth. Campaigning for cleaner air is essential to safeguard public health, preserve natural habitats, mitigate climate change, and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Idling vehicles in a traffic jam

But first . . . what does clean air look like?

Pure Composition: Clean air primarily consists of a mixture of nitrogen (about 78%), oxygen (approximately 21%), and trace amounts of other gases. It is free from excessive levels of pollutants or particulate matter.

Freshness: Clean air often carries a crisp, fresh scent, devoid of any unpleasant odors, chemical fumes, or contaminants.

Clarity: Clean air provides excellent visibility. In urban areas with high pollution levels, clean air is essential to prevent smog and haze.

Healthful: Breathing clean air feels invigorating and contributes positively to mental health and overall well-being. It minimizes the risk of respiratory problems and allergies.

The threat from pollutants!

Put simply, air polluted with harmful substances poses a significant risk to our health!

Health Impacts: Poor air quality can lead to a range of health issues, from mild irritations like coughing and throat soreness to severe conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and even lung cancer. The UK's Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2022 highlighted how air pollution effects everyone at all ages and is now associated with impacts on lung development in children, heart disease, stroke, cancer, exacerbation of asthma and increased mortality.

a chart showing the side effects of air pollution by age group

Source: Adapted from Public Health England (2018)1

Environmental Damage: Polluted air negatively impacts the environment by harming ecosystems, reducing agricultural yields, and contributing to climate change. There is now a growing level of research around the effects of air pollution on pollination and importantly why bees and other pollinators aren't able to smell flower scent clearly in certain areas of high pollution!

Economic Costs: And of course air pollution carries substantial economic costs, from healthcare expenditures to reduced productivity due to illness and absenteeism.

Achieving Clean Air

Clean air is not just a concept but an achievable goal. Through intervention and innovation here's how we can make it happen:

Direct Emission Reductions: Governments and industries can implement policies and technologies that directly reduce emissions of harmful pollutants from vehicles, factories, and power plants. Whilst a matter for debate, there is no doubt that the implementation of Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) in the UK is having a positive impact on air pollution levels. Read about the Government's Clean Air Strategy in the UK.

Technological Innovations: Advances in clean energy, transportation, and manufacturing technologies are essential for reducing emissions and where great advancement has taken place. From electric vehicles, renewable energy sources, to cleaner industrial processes, there really is not time to lose on harnessing contributions to cleaner air.

Education is key: Education is a vital tool in the fight against air pollution as it equips individuals with the knowledge and motivation needed to take action, support policies, and drive innovation for a cleaner and healthier environment. In the UK, the IOSH 'no time to lose' campaign has successfully highlighted and raised awareness of the threat of occupational cancer to construction workforces.

IOSH image for the No Time To Lose campaign

Source: IOSH 'No Time to Lose' Campaign

Innovative Products Like Clean Air by Resysten: Finally, coatings like Clean Air by Resysten provide one measure for helping us to deliver an ambition for better air quality. The Clean Air coating represents a proactive approach to improving air quality by working at the molecular level to break down pollutants and improve the quality of the air we breathe. This advanced technology can be applied to a variety of surfaces, including signage, building exteriors and transportation infrastructure, making them a practical solution for mitigating air pollution in urban areas.

The impact once applied to a surface can be immediate, with the coating actively breaking down harmful air pollutants - a surface covering of just 9 square meters can remove the daily impact in emissions of an average sized family car!

In conclusion

In conclusion, clean air is a fundamental component of a healthy and sustainable world. It ensures the well-being of both the environment and its inhabitants. Achieving clean air involves a combination of direct emissions reductions, technological advancements, and innovative products like Clean Air by Resysten. With these concerted efforts, we can breathe easier and create a cleaner, healthier future for all.

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