Climate Week Best Campaign 2012

Dr Ben Barratt

Kings College London, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment & Health

“In many of the UK’s towns and cities we still face levels of air pollution that carry serious health risks, both in the short and long term. Work carried out by King’s College London and Imperial College London in shops on Regent Street showed a clear one third drop in PM2.5 and black carbon particulates simply by closing the door during working hours. NO2 was similarly cut. Closing the shop doors facing polluted streets affords a significant reduction in risk not only to customers, but also to staff who have to work in the space all day. It is simple common sense. 

While we work on resolving the wider issue of air pollution, it is important that people at most risk are made aware, and that simple measures to reduce their exposure are made available to them. This may be by taking a less polluted travel route, ventilating houses near busy roads by opening windows only at the back, or closing the shop door on to busy streets.