Scots to breathe deep and do their bit to battle air pollution

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Communities, schools and workplaces are being encouraged to pledge their support for the first National Clean Air Day (NCAD) on June 15.

The day aims to help Scots realise that simple actions can improve health, reduce air pollution and are actions easy for most people to do; benefitting themselves, their families and wider community.

Even the smallest and simplest lifestyle changes can make a difference to air quality and health by:

Choosing to leave the car at home more often

Avoiding leaving the engine idling when using a car

Workplaces supporting staff to travel more sustainably

Toolkits to support participation by communities, school and workplaces are available to download on the NCAD website (www.cleanairday.org.uk/scotland).

Janice Milne, Chairperson of the Scottish Transport Emissions Partnership (STEP), said: “Polluted air is bad for human health and shortens everyone’s life-spans but is especially bad for the young, elderly and people who already have chronic heart and lung conditions.

“National Clear Air Day aims to highlight the issues, to help people to understand more about the problem, to find out more about how air pollution affects their own lives and those of their families and to find out what they can do to help reduce air pollution.

“And it is so easy to get involved. From downloading one of the toolkits, to signing up for the Thunderclap or taking a pledge to make a small lifestyle change, NCAD have made it simple to help us take responsibly for improving our health and reducing air pollution.”

In Scotland, the campaign supports delivery of the Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) strategy, involving the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), local authorities and other interested groups and bodies.

It aims to see Scotland enjoy the cleanest air quality in Europe and will have the country’s first dedicated Low Emission Zone established by 2018, with both Edinburgh and Glasgow vying for the position.

The Scottish Parliament will hold a major debate on June 14 on the effects of air pollution. The following day will mark the first National Clean Air Day, with a huge range of awareness-raising activities taking place across the UK.