On 10 May researchers, sectors leaders, and politicians will meet in parliament to share the latest evidence on indoor air quality and thrash out the best solutions for improving the air we breathe indoors.
Mr Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee, will chair the session, which will be opened with a keynote speech from Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulsecoomb, the leading force behind the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill, also known as Ella’s Law.
Given that 28,000-36,000 deaths in the UK are associated with human-made air pollution every year, it is vital that government and public society are aware of the dangers of poor air quality and understand the solutions that can protect public health.
“Within the Schools' Air Quality Monitoring for Health and Education project (SAMHE) we're going to be exploring air quality in schools, a space where children spend a lot of time. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of poor indoor air quality as their bodies (including lungs and brains) are still developing, they breathe faster than adults so take in proportionally more air. One of the challenges for taking action on air quality is that air pollution is invisible, but through SAMHE, pupils and teachers will be able to see classroom air quality readings and know when to take action such as opening windows.”
— Dr Sarah West, SEI York
The Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty has been actively calling for a greater focus on indoor air quality informed by monitoring and scientific research since the publication of his annual report on Air Pollution, in which he noted “over 80% of a typical adult day is spent indoors”.
The panel speakers for the debate hail from a range of prestigious institutions and dynamic organisations, many with their own research and projects focussed on improving indoor air quality. The panel includes: Prof. Frank Kelly FRSB, FRSC, FKC, FMedSci, Imperial College London; Prof. Sani Dimitroulopoulou, UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA); Dr Sarah West, Stockholm Environment Institute at University of York; Jason Torrance, UK100; Larissa Lockwood, Global Action Plan; and Peter Smith, National Energy Action (NEA).
These experts will showcase the evidence that poor air quality is linked to poor health outcomes, raise the profile of legislative, local authority, and wider developments that can improve air quality, and explore solutions for clean air that can be taken at an individual, community, regional and national level.
The event has been organised by Policy Connect, in partnership with two All-Party Parliamentary Groups.