Five ways to avoid air pollution where you live

Air pollution is the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Thursday is Clean Air Day, which aims to highlights the risks of air pollution and encourage people to change their habits to help make the air we breathe cleaner. With most forms of air pollution invisible to the naked eye, how can you avoid inhaling the pollutants where you live? Environmental journalist and author Tim Smedley shares his five top tips in the video above.

Book Club – Clearing the air

This time in Book Club, we follow sustainability journalist Tim Smedley as he pursues one of humankind’s greatest challenges and looks at the dangers posed by air pollution. Intrigued by some casual facts and figures he’d stumbled across in a newspaper, Smedley investigated further, then decided to travel around the world to look at the factors affecting air quality in major cities. Along with examples of how air pollution occurs and some frightening statistics...

Clearing the Air by Tim Smedley – review

On Friday 5 December 1952, a thick fog settled over London. The city’s “peasoupers” were a common event in those days, but this fog was different. It persisted – and intensified. After two days, visibility had dropped to its lowest level on record – just over a metre. Londoners, as if blindfolded, were walking in front of cars and stepping off rail platforms. At Sadler’s Wells, a performance of La traviata was halted when the audience could no longer see the stage...

Air pollution is the health crisis of our age, so why are we still getting log burners and jogging in cities?

In the centre of Tim Smedley’s living room is a cavernous Victorian fireplace, exactly the width and depth that would be the perfect fit for a wood burning stove. It was the first thing he and wife, Patricia Brekke, thought when they moved to their Banbury terraced home in 2016. But then the sustainability journalist started researching a book on air pollution and realised he just couldn't.

Deadly air in our cities: the invisible killer

Traffic pollution is putting our children at risk. Tim Smedley, author of Clearing The Air, meets the campaigners fighting back... "In the winter you can taste and smell the pollution,” says Kylie ap Garth, drinking coffee in a cafe in Hackney, east London. “My eldest is eight and he has asthma. Being outside, he would have a tight chest and cough. I just assumed it was the cold weather. I didn’t realise there was a link to the cars.” She is not exaggerating. The main road from Bethnal Green tube station is clogged with traffic, the smell of diesel fumes mixing with smoke from barbecue grill restaurants and construction dust.