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Tower Hamlets & East London: Air Pollution & You

Air pollution can worsen asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. We've worked with Tower Hamlets Together to collect practical actions for you and your family that can help.

An illustration of a young girl. In the background is a queue of traffic. There is a signpost where one side points towards a car and the other side points towards a tree. An arrow points towards the tree.


Discover the side streets - Use quieter roads and paths to keep away from heavy polluting traffic


Cars and vans can make lots of pollution. Where you can try to chose paths that stay away from busy roads. Perhaps walk through a park, or take a road that runs behind the main road.

An illustration of a young boy and his father. They are standing next to bikes on a path through a park.


Leave the car behind - Encourage your whole family to walk, cycle and scoot more


Cars create pollution, and there can be more pollution inside a car than outside it. By choosing active travel and using public transport rather than cars you can reduce pollution for you and for others.

An illustration of a young boy. He is standing in his lounge, holding a mobile phone which is showing what the air pollution levels are.


Check the forecast - Find out what the air pollution levels will be near your tomorrow.


Visit AirText to find out what the pollution levels are expected to be for today and tomorrow. You can also sign up for free alerts by text message to keep you up to date on the pollution forecast for Tower Hamlets. This can help you to plan what actions you can take the next day.

An illustration of a young girl. She is standing in the foreground, in the background you can see a taxi and a car.


Turn the engine off - When you do need to use a car, ask the driver to turn the engine off when the car isn't moving.


Sometimes we have to use cars or taxis to get around, but when we do we can make a difference by turning the engine off when we can, especially when you are waiting for somoeone, like at a school or at the shops.

An illustration of a young girl and her parents. They are standing in front of some blocks of flats.


Keep the air clean inside too - Use low chemical and non-smelly products, and keep your indoor air clean by using extractor fans.


When cooking, cleaning or drying clothes, try to open windows if they are not near main roads.


Look for cleaning products that are described as "low odour" or that don't use artificial fragrances. Be careful when using products like bleach to use them in small quantities and ventilllate well and follow the instructions on the pack. Products that are applied as sprays will evaporate into the air quicker, so consider avoiding these where possible. Alternative cleaning products, such as diluted vinegar or baking soda can also be good alternatives.


Avoid smoking inside your house. If you need support to help quit, visit Quit Right Tower Hamlets.

Short (8 minute) training session on air pollution and health, and the Air Pollution & You project

As part of the Tower Hamlets Air pollution and You project, Abi Whitehouse, paediatric registrar and clinical researcher at Queen Mary University spoke to us about air pollution and its impacts on child health. Afterwards, Cat Leggat from Global Action Plan discusses the Air Pollution and You project

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Tower Hamlets Together is the borough's vision of a seamless health and care experience for its citizens. It is made up of a partnership of local health and social care organisations, including Barts Health NHS Trust, Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Tower Hamlets GP Care Group, Tower Hamlets council and the Council for Voluntary Services.