Engineering a reduction in air pollution

Engineering a reduction in air pollution

In December 2021, members of the Breathing City network attended a joint National Engineering Policy Centre and Chief Medical Officer roundtable on air pollution to help inform the 2022 CMO Annual Report. The report intends to focus on evidence for potential solutions to reduce the public health impacts of outdoor and indoor air pollution and offer recommendations based on this evidence.

A roundtable meeting note has been published today, ‘Engineering a reduction in air pollution’, which provides an overview of the roles of engineering in reducing the harmful health effects of air pollution. Members of the Breathing City network were involved with the second roundtable which focused on solutions for the built environment. The first explored transport solutions to reduce air pollution.

The group discussed a number of built environment interventions that could have significant impact on indoor and outdoor air pollution including: reducing traffic, modal shifts in transport use, green spaces, and building ventilation. The meeting note also highlights the need for further air pollution monitoring and control measures.

“As low-cost sensor technology has improved, an observatory for indoor air quality data would be useful to better understand these environments”

“Improved control measures and regulations on polluting components in household products and materials may also reduce indoor air pollution”

The role for planning was also recognised, where the benefits of undertaking early air quality environmental impact assessments were highlighted, along with the need for checks and health impact assessments to promote appropriate levels of indoor air quality during building use.

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