Two million people with lung conditions have experienced improved symptoms as a result of reduced air pollution during lockdown, says British Lung Foundation (BLF)
There are currently 12 million people in the UK living with diagnosed lung conditions such as asthma and lung disease.
During lockdown air pollution, which has a well-known link to such conditions, has fallen significantly, with around a 40% decrease in NO2 levels.
A survey conducted by the charity on 14,000 people has revealed that 1 in 6 people with lung conditions have noticed improved symptoms during the lockdown.
The charity also revealed that this figure was higher amongst children, 1 in 5 parents of a child with a lung condition have noticed an improvement to their child’s symptoms, and 83% of parents have said they think air pollution should be a priority for the government.
The British Lung Foundation and The Taskforce for Lung Health are calling on the government for a long-term commitment to reduce air pollution by adopting the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines on air pollution by 2030.
Zak Bond, policy and public affairs officer at the British Lung Foundation, said: ‘Air pollution can increase your likelihood of getting a lung condition and cause lasting damage to children’s growing lungs.
‘Now, more than ever before, we have all become aware of how important it is to look after our lungs, and the government has a duty to ensure that as the country recovers from covid-19, we can continue to keep air pollution levels down, and keep pushing them lower, with the rapid introduction of Clean Air Zones, support for public and active transport, and tougher air quality laws.
‘We want to see the government commit to reaching the WHO’s guidelines for fine particulate matter by 2030 at the latest.
‘For those most vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, such as people with existing respiratory conditions, or those recovering from covid-19, clean air is crucial for living well now, and in the future.’
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