NEWS

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Air pollution is a major public health challenge for Scotland and the United Kingdom (UK). Exposure to air pollution can lead to a wide range of health issues including heart and respiratory conditions such as asthma, and every year in the UK, tens of thousands of deaths are attributed to long-term exposure to air pollution.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation is an Aberdeen based charity providing evidence-based health information, confidential advice, and support to people with asthma, their families, and carers, helping them understand asthma, it triggers and how to live well with the condition. 

As a chronic lung condition, asthma affects about 368,000 people including 72,000 children in Scotland. Air pollution is a common asthma trigger which can cause or worsen symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness and coughing, and when symptoms become severe, this can lead to potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation launched its annual “Love is in the Air” campaign in 2020, to promote discussions on the impact of air pollution on our health and environment, and what must be done by the government, organisations, communities, and individuals to clean up our air in Scotland. This year, and through the month of February and March, the Charity is back with this Campaign to continue discussions on improving air quality for all.

Commenting on its 2021 “Love is in the Air” campaign, Dami Jaiyesimi, Health Promotion Manager, said “There is ever increasing evidence about the damage air pollution causes on the quality of life of people with asthma, and other respiratory conditions, which impact hugely on their families. In December 2020, air pollution was recognised as a cause of a person’s death for the first time in the UK – when it was found that air pollution made a material contribution to the death of nine-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. Ella had acute asthma and had been exposed to excessive levels of pollution for a sustained period before she sadly died in 2013.

Air pollution is a major environmental health issue and improving our air quality is everyone’s responsibility. Many times, when people talk about reducing air pollution, it is often in relation to government policies and interventions. While action from public bodies which make decisions about polluting activities such as traffic and roads, is critical, private organisations as well as individuals need to evaluate their activities which also contribute to air pollution.”

Martina Chukwuma-Ezike, the Charity’s Chief Executive Officer, added “We all know that air pollution – outdoors and indoors – has a negative impact on our health. The push for cleaner air in our communities is an ongoing discussion and as a community health organisation, Asthma and Allergy Foundation will keep on raising awareness on how individuals can protect themselves from the health impacts of air pollution and will continue to press for greater action on air pollution, urging both Scottish and UK Government to position pollution control at the heart of policy making”.

Throughout February – the month of “love”, the charity will be sharing educative information and resources across different media platforms on how we can all work together to make a difference.

For more information about the “Love is in the Air” campaign or to support Asthma and Allergy Foundation, call 01224 973001, email: info@asthmaandallergy.org.uk, or visit: www.asthmaandallergy.org.uk.

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