British Safety Council launches Air Pollution Manifesto

Air pollution is the UK’s largest environmental risk to health with 40,000 early deaths a year, including deadly impacts on outdoor workers, and a £20 billion cost to the UK economy. Air pollution is an invisible, silent killer that can no longer be ignored. It is preventable.

The British Safety Council has today launched its Air Pollution Manifesto, which calls on all candidates standing for election as a Metro Mayor on 6 May 2021 to commit to our Time to Breathe 7-Point Plan:

  1. Appointing a Clean Air Czar with executive powers to ensure that levels of ambient air pollution are reduced to below legal/ WHO guideline limits for the most dangerous sources of air pollution in the shortest time possible.
  2. Running a publicity campaign to encourage drivers to stop engine idling.
  3. Permitting electric cars only in cities from 2030 at the latest
  4. Retrofitting diesel buses to be powered by electricity to improve urban air quality.
  5. Implementing a Clean Air Zone or an Ultra-Low Emissions Zone covering the metro area.
  6. Funding air pollution monitoring infrastructure to the same accuracy as London for emissions data.
  7. Investing in cleaner energy, cycling and walking.

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive at the British Safety Council, commented:

“The shocking reality for many outdoor workers in the UK is that they are breathing toxic air during their working day. For them, ambient air pollution has turned the simple, human act of breathing into a deadly occupational hazard. Action is long overdue. Now is the time to invest in clean air for outdoor workers.”

“This forgotten army of outdoor workers are the people who deliver our letters and food, help our children to cross the road, empty our bins, and keep us safe from crime. They deserve better protection.”

“So, we are calling on those standing for election as a Metro Mayor this May to commit to ensuring clean air is our future. Outdoor workers deserve the same legal protections as those on the factory floor. No one should be made ill by the job that they do.”

Read the manifesto.