Professor Sir Stephen Holgate Air Health

Professor Sir Stephen Holgate calls for a strong air pollution narrative during WCRAQ Air Health meeting

After successful Research and Air Monitoring meetings, Professor Sir Stephen Holgate challenged the Westminster Commission for Road Air Quality’s Air Health working party to establish a strong air pollution message to meet the Commission’s objective to mitigate the effects.

He urged the working party to unite efforts to create a narrative about air pollution that is easy to understand for non-health professionals and hits the deadly message home.

 After being welcomed by the WCRAQ Chair, Barry Sheerman MP, Professor Sir Stephen Holgate CBE, FMedSci, MRC Clinical Professor, University of Southampton, directed the discussion between leading players and scientists in air health to consider how the Commission can reach crucial air pollution health objectives.

‘The issue of air pollution in the public mind needs a clear, firm message that is not muddled, to be repeated over and over. This way, we have a real possibility of addressing this public health problem,’ highlighted Dr Suzanne Bartington, leading air pollution academic at the University of Birmingham.

‘We need a core message in no more than 11 syllables, such was the success of ‘Stay at Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives,’ Dr. Bartington concluded.

Dr Ian Mudway, Senior lecturer from the School of Public Health at Imperial College, suggested connecting with leading charities to form a productive coalition. ‘I am unaware of any current coalition between key charitable organisations. We have the opportunity to bring together leading dementia, child, and health groups to focus on a key health agenda.’

‘The issue of air pollution need facts, even if alarming health risks are exposed. Whilst positive messages are always received well by the public. They also need to be aware of the magnitude of that problem. The message about the effects of air pollution is not a pleasant one. However, if you are aware of the effects, you can start mitigating them. There is not an easy solution, and the issue of air pollution needs work and attention,’ Dr Mudway concluded.

 Attendees from academic and industry backgrounds joined the conversation, including AirSafe, Imperial, the University of Birmingham and Emission Analytics, to name a few.

The next Air Health Working Party meeting will take place in February. Are you passionate about defending the inalienable right to breathe clean air? Join our Commission and let your voice be heard, by emailing [email protected], or visit our website.

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