Air pollution is everywhere. At Clean Air Fund, we know that sharing evidence and learning is crucial to supporting the clean air movement. Here, we explore the latest news, research and efforts to tackle air pollution across the world.
Dirty air causes premature deaths of at least 1,200 children across Europe
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed that nearly all children across the continent are exposed to air that falls below healthy standards. Despite improvements, air quality levels across the EU still exceed WHO recommendations.
Air pollution associated with declining bee population
Researchers at the University of Leicester, UK, looked at the impact of black carbon on the digestive system of bees’ guts. The researchers found that poor air quality significantly changes the beneficial bacteria that are vital for bees’ health. “Air pollution affects microbial communities. Changes to these important communities could have detrimental effects on lots of different ecosystems that affect bees and also directly affect humans,” warn researchers.
School students built air filters for classroom
Students at a school near one of London’s most polluted roads built air pollution filters for their classrooms. Elmgreen School in Lambeth, London, is situated by the South Circular road which has been found to have high levels of particulate matter (PM2.5). In collaboration with Mums for Lungs and researchers from the University of Nottingham, students assembled the low-cost systems with kit that cost about £200.
Polluted air linked with increased rates of clinical dementia
Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the link between air pollutants and dementia. Drawing on more than 2,080 studies, the study found evidence of the relationship between PM2.5 and clinical dementia, even in regions where annual exposure was far below the EU’s current regulations’ annual standard.
Tiny pollutants can help cancer cells grow
Researchers have discovered that air pollution can wake up dormant lung cancer cells in people who have never smoked. Led by University College London and Imperial College, the study looked at data from over 400, 000 people from the UK, South Korea and Taiwan.
Air pollution linked to lower COVID vaccine response
A population-level cohort study in Catalonia, Spain, looked at the link between air pollution exposure for a prolonged duration and the COVID-19 vaccine-induced antibody response. Led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, the study revealed that people exposed to higher levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and blank carbon before the Covid-19 pandemic appeared to have lower antibody responses to Covid-19 vaccines, suggesting that air pollution has a negative effect on the immune system too.
Nepal’s air quality deteriorates in wake of wildfires
Concern is growing amid a spike in wildfires across Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and parts of India. According to data from the Department of Forests and Soil Conservation, there are now wildfires at 92 different places in Nepal. Atmospheric pollution has increased excessively particularly in the region of Kathmandu Valley, where the PM2.5 levels exceeded 205 on in a two week period and PM10 levels reached 430 just a few days later.
Toxic air connected to reduced sleep
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Louisville, US, have revealed that air pollution, heat, carbon dioxide and noise can adversely affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep. The study observed 62 participants over the course of two weeks with activity monitors and sleep logs.
Air pollution impacts every stage of human life
A recent study by Imperial College London synthesises the findings of more than 35,000 studies from around the world on the impact of air pollution on health. The findings reveal links between air pollution and the health of newborns in the first weeks of life, birth weight, miscarriages and stillbirths.
New solar powered charging station for electric vehicles in Cape Town
The city of Cape Town, South Africa, welcomed a new charging station for electric vehicles. Red Bull, the Austrian multinational energy drink company, and the German BMW Group’s Mini car manufacturer recently implemented to station to accelerate green mobility in this South African city prone to air pollution.
Beijing and northern China hit by sandstorms for the fourth time in a month
Residents in Beijing and China’s north eastern regions have been advised to stay indoors following a severe sandstorm for the fourth time in a month. Authorities have warned children and the elderly to stay indoors and keep windows closed. On Monday 17 April, PM10 particles exceeded almost 30 times the WHO’s recommended daily average.