In recognition of Breathe Easy Week (June 18-24) and Clean Air Day (June 21), leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG want residents to be aware of how air quality can affect respiratory health.
It is important for people who live and work in Sefton to understand how their health can be affected by air pollution and the actions that can be taken to reduce exposure to harmful pollutants.
In the short term, breathing air containing pollutant gases or microscopic particles can cause irritation to the nose and throat. Over time more serious health consequences can arise, especially for older people, children and those with existing lung conditions, including asthma.
However, simple changes like opting for public transport, car-sharing and minimising the use of coal fires, wood-burning stoves and garden bonfires all add up to cleaner air.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“It is important for Sefton residents to be aware of the actions they can take to reduce their exposure to air pollution.
“Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than cyclists and using quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot can lower your exposure to air pollution by 20%.
“By leaving the car at home and using alternative ways of travel you can reduce the impact of air pollution on your health and keep fit at the same time.”
Jenny Owen, respiratory programme lead for the CCGs, said:
“We all know that being able to breathe is vital, but sometimes pollution makes that more difficult, especially if you have conditions like asthma.
“We all have a part to play and making small changes could have long term benefits to both your health, and that of those in our community.
“All this week we’re going to be sharing hints and tips on our twitter channels on how to help reduce air pollution. Follow us at @NHSSSCCG and @NHSSFCCG.”
“If you have a chronic respiratory disease and feel like you may be affected, in the first instance visit your local pharmacist.
“They can offer tailored advice on taking extra measures such as stopping smoking and trying various breathing techniques to prevent further adverse effects and help you to better manage your condition.
”If you’re really concerned make an appointment to see your GP.”