Search Icon


Lots of research has been done, and continues to be done, on the impacts of air pollution on our health. Below are all the references for the health and impact claims that we have made throughout the family clean air hub. Our health messaging has been reviewed by representatives from Public Health England, the Royal College of Physicians and Kings College London.

Health effects

Up to 36,000 deaths each year in the UK are caused by air pollution

High air pollution is linked to low birth weight and can lead to premature birth and pregnancy loss

Research is beginning to point towards effects of air pollution on the developing brain, but more research is needed

Exposure to air pollution, both during pregnancy and after birth, can affect children’s lung function development. In areas of high air pollution, it could be setting some children up for health problems throughout their lives

There is a strong link between air pollution and the worsening of asthma symptoms and it also plays a part in causing asthma in some individuals

Among children with asthma, those exposed to higher levels of air pollution suffer more frequent chronic respiratory symptoms

[Children’s] developing organs and immune systems – and smaller bodies and airways – make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water.

There is an association between exposure to the air pollutant NO2 and cough and phlegm symptoms in adults

All of the organs in the body seem to be affected in some way by breathing in air pollution

Air pollution is linked to high blood pressure


Air pollution can lead to cardiovascular disease

Studies are showing that there may be an association between air pollution and poor mental health, but more evidence is needed

Exposure to air pollution is also linked to increases in coughs and bronchitis

Air pollution can increase the risk of bacterial pneumonia

Air pollution potentially increases the risk of getting dementia


Air pollution and COVID-19


There is emerging evidence that air pollution can increase your risk of developing diabetes


↑ Back to top



Make sure your boiler is serviced each year

Use dry, well-seasoned wood

Use fragrance free cleaning products

Avoid aerosols and air fresheners

Choose low VOC paints

Open windows or use extractor fans when cooking

Open windows when using cleaning products

Shut windows during rush hour

Choose furniture without MDF

Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much pollution as a pedestrian and nine times as much pollution as a cyclist travelling the same journey

Quieter roads have been shown to reduce your exposure to pollution by 20%

Face masks

Impact of indoor plants on air pollution

Transport is a major source of pollution

Active travel benefits


↑ Back to top

Information about air pollution

Where does air pollution come from

Sources of indoor air pollution

Children spend most of their time indoors

Too many of our homes and schools are damp and poorly ventilated

Air pollution on a major road in London was 89% lower when the roads were closed

↑ Back to top