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Air pollution is one of the most significant environmental risks to human health across the world. It is one of the leading causes of avoidable death and disease globally, resulting in around 7 million premature deaths every year.
According to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, nine out of ten people regularly breathe polluted air.
Today is International Day for Clean Air for Blue Skies 2021, organised by the United Nations, to recognise how much work needs to be done to reduce the effects of smoke, smog, hazardous airborne chemicals, and other forms of harmful air pollution.
To raise awareness of the issue and mobilise global action to address air pollution, this year’s theme for International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies is ‘Healthy Air, Healthy Planet’, emphasising the link between people and the environment in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent report by researchers from Imperial College London has found that long-term exposure to air pollution increases your risk of more severe coronavirus symptoms and hospitalisation from the disease. Inhaling polluted air may also increase the likelihood of catching COVID-19 in the first place.
This latest research backs existing evidence that air pollution exposure increases your susceptibility to other lung diseases, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.
Poor air quality can also make respiratory disease symptoms worse. The World Health Organization states that by breathing cleaner air, you can also reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease and lung cancer.
Novum Law’s Phillip Gower, who heads up our Cardiff office specialises in helping people with respiratory diseases and conditions. His expertise includes claims involving exposure to toxic materials such as asbestos.
Phillip has also represented people suffering from respiratory conditions (including occupational asthma), cancer, and strokes due to inhaling diesel fumes from heavy goods vehicles and carbon monoxide poisoning. He says:
“Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the U.K. It’s a shocking figure and wholly unacceptable. We owe it to our children, our children’s children, and future generations to raise awareness of the dangers of airborne toxins and to take action to improve the air we breathe. All of us have a part to play in tackling air pollution and helping to protect the environment and our health.”
Novum Law’s specialist lawyers can provide expert legal advice if you or a family member has a respiratory condition, like cancer or other illness that may have been caused by air pollution or exposure to harmful chemicals or irritants at work. We can also help if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, after exposure at work or in your home.