Air pollution is linked to one in eight premature deaths worldwide. Poor air quality is especially dangerous for children and the elderly, but it is linked to health problems that affect people at all stages of their lives. Cancer, heart conditions, strokes, respiratory diseases, poor brain and lung development and type 2 diabetes are all connected to air pollution. People living in cities are particularly affected, with 90% of urban citizens exposed to harmful levels of air pollutants (World Health Organisation).
The effects of poor air quality are felt worldwide, but the sources are usually local. Every day, air pollution is caused by our commutes to work, by heating our homes, or through our local industries. Understanding how we live – and the restrictions we face in those choices – is key to improving air quality. Solutions at a local level can make a big difference.