A billboard-ad campaign has been launched aimed at educating drivers of the impact of exposure to air pollution in five cities across the UK.
The #HelpBritainBreathe initiative, will see 12x3m roadside billboards going up in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Southampton this week, warning of the causes and effects of air pollution.
It is being delivered by the Health Air Campaign, which is backed by the British Lung Foundation and environmental law charity ClientEarth as well as the Campaign for Better Transport, the London Cycling Campaign, Doctors Against Diesel, Friends of the Earth, Transform Scotland, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, Sustrans and Cycling UK.
Campaigners have said that they hope the initiative will boost public interest in the threat posed by air pollution, giving those stuck in rush hour jams the chance to consider its impact on their own health and on the health of those who live near to congested areas.
Andrea Lee, Healthy Air Campaigner, said: “It’s worrying how many people living in cities and towns outside of London are unaware of how they and their families are affected by the dirty air they breathe every day.â€?
Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “This campaign is vital in making drivers aware of the devastating impact air pollution has on everyone’s lungs. Research has shown that many drivers are exposed to higher levels of pollution than cyclists when on the same road.
“Filthy air is causing a public health crisis, stunting children’s lung growth and making existing lung conditions worse. We need urgent action from central government with the introduction of a new Clean Air Act. Our lung health demands nothing less.â€?
The campaign is urging the public to visit the Help Britain Breathe campaign website at helpbritainbreathe.org.uk.