According to WHO reports, air pollution kills approximately 6.5 million people every year. That is even more than the death toll of COVID-19 in 2020. These numbers prove how serious the problem is that we are dealing with worldwide.
Air pollution in the UK
The United Kingdom boasts relatively good air quality compared to the other European countries. In rural areas, particularly in the northern parts of the country, the air is surprisingly clean. That, however, is not the case for more populated cities such as London or Manchester.
London is the smog capital of the United Kingdom. Sulfurous smog, associated with coal burning and low temperatures, has inherited its alternative name from it. The health implications of smog are not usually immediate. However, the history of London proves there are exceptions to this rule. In 1952, the Great Smog directly led to the deaths of thousands of Londoners. Since then, things have slowly been changing for the better.
In recent years, air quality in London has been improving due to decisions like the closure of the central zone for petrol vehicles and the development of public transportation. Hopefully, this trend will continue!
How does air pollution affect our health?
Deaths caused by air pollution are rarely immediate. It usually takes time for serious health problems to develop. Continuous exposure to air pollution can lead to obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. It also increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Inhaling particulate matter and toxic gases can also lead to fertility problems and affect the fetus.
This explains why adopting protective measures is crucial to our safety and well-being. Fortunately, awareness of the harmful effects of air pollution on our respiratory and circulatory systems has increased in recent years. Wearing an antismog mask is no longer a rare occasion in bigger cities. Some municipalities have also started to distribute sensors displaying real-time data in their neighborhoods. However, apps like ours remain the best source of updated information wherever you go, 24/7.
How to check air quality in the UK?
Many cities in Europe issue smog alarms when air pollution reaches worrying levels. That doesn’t mean, however, that on an average day the air is pure enough to breathe safely. Monitoring air quality on your own is the best way to know if you should stay at home for your own safety. Thanks to the access to real time data, you will know if an antismog mask is necessary and whether it’s time to turn on the air purifier at home. All you need to check air quality in the UK is access to the internet.
The UK air pollution map – check it with Airly
If you want to observe levels of air pollution in the UK, try installing the Airly app on your smartphone. This way, you will have access to real-time data on particulate matter and toxic gas levels 24/7. The Airly system, which consists of a network of sensors, provides detailed information on carbon oxides, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur oxides, PM 2,5, and PM 10. It also measures temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure.