Posted in | News | Pollution | Sustainability

Researchers Promote Awareness on Air Quality for National Clean Air Day

As a part of the National Clean Air Day, researchers from the University of York have been involved in teaching children the significance of air quality.

Science in action: Dr Ruth Purvis and Year 5 pupils (Image credit: University of York)

More than twelve air quality workshops and assemblies have been conducted across the city’s schools involving researchers from the University of York.

This initiative overlapped with the city’s Walk to School Week, which involved over 6,000 children.


Bus, car, taxi, and lorry drivers have been encouraged to turn off their engines while motionless across the city, and York Hospital will also work with its employees to lower emissions from its vehicle fleet.

Community groups, including Clean Air York, have been involved in sharing the clean air message and closed traffic to Bishopthorpe Road for a day.

Air pollution has been connected to asthma, heart attacks, lung cancer, and strokes.


Dr Ruth Purvis, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science based at the University of York, said: “Breathing is not optional, it’s essential. It is important that we try and make sure our air quality is the best it can be.

“Air pollutants are all around us but much of it comes from our activities such as driving and burning wood.

“Through practical workshops and assemblies, we are teaching children the importance of air quality so they and their families can then make choices to reduce their pollution.

“It is essential for children to see that science is all around them and not just in a sterile laboratory and that it is fun and interesting!"

Our sustained work on combating air pollution has resulted in a trend of air quality improving over recent years. However, we recognise that we can do more.

This is why soon we are backing Clean Air Day ahead of a new consultation on clean air zones in the city.

Cllr Andrew Waller, Executive Member for the environment at City of York Council

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