I am encouraging everyone to help improve air quality for all by ditching their cars and getting active on Clean Air Day which is today.
Constituents in Oldham East and Saddleworth are encouraged to cycle or walk, when and if they can. This will limit their pollution contribution but also protect their heart health, as air pollution levels can be significantly higher inside a car.
It’s important that we have better air quality so anyone living with health problems, including heart and circulatory conditions, doesn’t need to worry about dirty air damaging their health when they leave the house.
Research has shown that even the smallest reduction can make a big difference in preventing new cases of coronary heart disease.
That’s why I’m supporting the call for all effective action to be taken to clean up our air.
Air pollution is now the largest environmental risk factor linked to deaths in England, with the majority of air-pollution related deaths worldwide (58%) caused by heart disease or stroke. The British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) research has shed light on how health-harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) – small particles found in emissions from diesel engines and wood burning stoves – can cause damage to people’s cardiovascular health and increase the risk of potentially deadly heart attacks and stroke.
The BHF is urging government to make this happen by adopting World Health Organisation (WHO) air quality guidelines into UK law.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s great to have Debbie’s support with encouraging action to promote and protect the nation’s heart health from the effects of air pollution.
“We know that to have good heart and circulatory health, people need to be active. But BHF-funded research suggests that poor air quality can cancel out the cardiovascular benefits of exercise in vulnerable people. Further BHF-funded research has also shown that particulate matter increases the risk of potentially fatal complications for people with a heart or circulatory condition.
“To reduce this risk, we urgently need WHO limits for PM to be adopted into new air quality legislation as soon as possible.”
You can learn more about the BHF’s Clean Air Day at: www.cleanairday.org.uk