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Quality of the air

Evans Richard (LBHF) via Delphine Gentil - 17 Jan 2018

Imagine if you could change the quality of the air we breathe - in just one day.

Fighting For Air is a 60-minute BBC documentary which follows Dr van Tullekem as he helps organise a one-day experiment in the Kings Heath district of Birmingham to see if air pollution can be cut.

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. 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.

The results are impressive: 10% NoX cut on the high street, and 30% lower diesel fumes outside the school. There is some scary analysis of the content of children’s lungs: we see particles of diesel soot under the microscope. I was glad to see the point made that air quality is often worse inside cars than outside in the same street – how many parents on the school run actually know this?  How many might change their travel habits if they realised they were strapping their children into a poisonous box?

I hope you can make good use of this, it’s on the iPlayer until 9th February and why not show it to your children? Everyone has most to gain from cleaning up our air, and the school run is a good place to start!




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