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University Pledges Support For Clean Air Day

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The University of Reading has become an official supporter of Clean Air Day, the UK’s largest campaign on air pollution, being celebrated today (16 June).

Air pollution has been recognised by the World Health Organisation, as well as the UK government, as one of the biggest environmental health risks that people face. Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.

The theme for this year’s Clean Air Day is: “Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.”

Reading University Pledges Support For Clean Air Day

Dan Fernbank, Energy & Sustainability Director at the University of Reading, said: “Clean Air Day is a great opportunity to highlight the issue of air pollution and the impact it can have on all our lives. As a university with a strong emphasis on sustainability and ‘being green’, becoming an official supporter of the Clean Air Day campaign was a natural move.

“We already have a range of initiatives to promote sustainable travel, including a variety of schemes to support walking and cycling to campus, discounts on public transport and electric vehicle charging points. We will also launch a new lift-sharing scheme later this year. If we can all make small changes in our everyday lives, together we can have a big impact.”

The University’s Sustainability team has written a blog outlining the University’s sustainable travel initiatives, as well as some examples of steps we can take as individuals.

Research providing cleaner air for children

Researchers at the University are working with several primary schools in Reading to help equip children, parents and teachers with the tools and skills to identify toxic air pollution on their route to school, giving them the chance to walk a different way.

The project is also monitoring air pollution levels at the school gate, where cars with idling engines can cause dangerous levels of air pollution that are particularly harmful to children.

The scheme this week won a prize at the University Impact and Engagement Awards 2022.

Read more about the cleaner air for schools project.

Research by Henley Business School has also found that new residential developments in London are failing to deliver play areas for children that have been checked for safe levels of air pollution.