Global Action Plan – #25YearsofActionPosted on 07.11.2018
Invisible Dust Director and Curator Alice Sharp is among the list of speakers at tonight’s Global Action Plan’s (GAP) 25th Anniversary event – an opportunity to look back at a quarter century of environmental action and a chance to share our vision for the future.
The press release below issued today by GAP summarises the issues of air pollution in response to findings from Clean Air Day 2018. At the 25th Anniversary event, Alice will talk about air pollution and how Invisible Dust works with artists and scientists to make this global environmental concern, more visible. Earlier this year Invisible Dust worked with artist Kasia Molga, Senior Air Quality Analyst, Andrew Grieve at Kings College London and Euston Town BID on ‘Human Sensor LDN’.
Government sleepwalking into public health crisis due to lack of public information on air pollution
Britain risks sleepwalking into a health crisis unless the government massively invests in public information on air pollution, experts are warning.
Findings released today (8 November) by Clean Air Day, the country’s largest air quality campaign, reveal that people respond well when given accurate information and the means to do something about air pollution.
But this is little comfort, according to the charity behind the research, unless the government commits to an information campaign to match the scale of the problem.
Says Chris Large, Senior Partner at Global Action Plan, which commissioned the research: “The Government knows that children could stop breathing the most dirty air with simple changes to their routine, but government departments cannot give this basic health advice due to lack of funding. When we have needed to fund previous health campaigns such as smoking, drink driving and healthy eating, the government has found the money. It’s time that funding was found to educate the millions of people who live in areas of unsafe air pollution.
“Air pollution is an urgent public health issue that’s up there with heart disease, diabetes and cancer. To properly deal with it we need an ambitious and sustained public health campaign on a similar scale to no-smoking.”
This year’s annual Clean Air Day campaign, which is backed by leading academics, 16 medical colleges and other major health bodies, culminated in hundreds of events across the country on 21 June. It also inspired the UK’s first Clean Air Summit, a gathering of city mayors and other local politicians representing some 20 million people.
Findings included more awareness of the dangers of indoor air pollution following the campaign – up by 12% to 74% of respondents – while 45% people questioned are now aware that cyclists and pedestrians often breathe cleaner air than drivers.
The same findings revealed that 22% chose to cycle or walk a route they had previously driven, compared to 16% before the campaign – an increase of 37% – and 71% now open windows for ventilation when they are cooking or cleaning – an increase of 22%.
“These findings are very positive but we’re still only scratching the surface of the problem so far,” says Chris Large. “Hardly a day passes without more evidence of the profound damage air pollution is having on the nation’s physical and mental health, especially that of the most vulnerable.
“Surely there is enough evidence now to demonstrate the need for a nationwide public awareness campaign, funded by the government, to protect the health of the public?”
Image: Kasia Molga, Human Sensor LDN, 2018 at Under Her Eye. Photo credit Angela Dennis, courtesy of Invisible Dust.