Care Excellence (NICE) recently issued draft guidance on ‘Air pollution – outdoor air quality and health.’ In the following article Jim Mills, managing director of Air Monitors Ltd, explains why there will need to be more funding for monitoring if the mitigation measures mentioned in the guidance are to be implemented effectively. Jim also highlights the close relationship between outdoor air quality and the (often ignored) problems with indoor air quality.
The NICE guidelines are being developed for local authority staff working in: transport, planning, air quality management and public health. The guidance is also relevant for staff in healthcare, employers, education professionals and the general public.
Covering road-traffic-related air pollution and its links to ill health, the guidelines aim to improve air quality and so prevent a range of health conditions and deaths.
Unfortunately, on the day that the draft guideline was published, most of the national media focused on one relatively minor recommendation relating to speed bump: “where physical measures are needed to reduce speed, such as humps and bumps, ensure they are designed to minimise sharp decelerations and consequent accelerations”.
Measures to encourage ‘smooth driving’ are outlined; however, the guidelines also address a wide range of other issues, which, in combination, would help tackle urban air pollution.
Public sector transport services should implement measures to reduce emissions, but this is an area that could involve the greatest financial cost.
Read more: The ins and outs of air quality monitoring