Clean air campaigns

Lung conditions are the third biggest killer in the UK. Toxic air contributes to up to 43,000 of these deaths every year.

We need urgent action to clean up the air we breathe. 

A public health emergency

The impact of breathing in toxic air is devastating. It’s a public health emergency contributing to the early deaths of up to 43,000 people every year in the UK.

Where is the toxic air coming from? 

The majority of this pollution is coming from vehicle emissions, especially from older diesel engines.

How is toxic air affecting our health? 

Toxic air is having a devastating impact on people's lungs. It can stunt the growth of children's lungs so that they don't develop properly, worsen existing lung conditions like asthma and COPD and lead to the development of serious long-term conditions like lung cancer. It can even affect your mental health. 

Short term effects of toxic air: 

In the short term, breathing in toxic air could have the following immediate effects: 

  • inflammation and irritation of the lining of your airways, which can cause symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing.
  • asthma attacks, heart attacks or COPD flare-ups for people with lung or heart conditions, and potentially hospitalisation.

Long term effects of toxic air: 

Over the longer term being exposed to toxic air can lead to: 

  • increased chance of early death, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • damage to developing lungs and brains during pregnancy
  • increased chance of low birth weight and premature birth in newborns
  • likely to cause new cases of asthma
  • stunted and smaller lungs in children, increasing the chance of lung infections and future lung problems
  • potentially increased risk of type 2 diabetes and dementia

What can we do about it? 

The UK government knows that air pollution levels in the UK are way above limits set by the World Health Organisation. But they’re not doing enough about it. This needs to change.  

We’re working on campaigns that will help influence policy to make these changes, and achieve a future with cleaner air for all.

We're calling for big changes nationally as well as tailored changes in local communities. This way we can make sure that the right solutions are introduced at the right level.   

Read our manifesto for change

For the upcoming general election we are calling on all political parties to finally take lung health seriously by committing to set bold new diagnosis targets, invest in lung health research and tackle toxic air.

Manifesto for change

Manifesto for change

We are calling on the new government to make lung health a priority and clean up our toxic air. 

Join our call for local leaders to tackle toxic air

With more action from political leaders everybody’s health can be protected. 


Greater Manchester

Sign our petition to demand cleaner air to breathe in Greater Manchester.

Your story

If you have a story to tell about how toxic air has impacted you, or your loved ones please get in touch. By sharing the real human impact of toxic air we can help more people understand it and campaign for change and make sure your voice gets heard.

Our blog


Fighting for clean air at the elections

Tim Dexter from our Clean Air Team talks about how we took the fight for cleaner air into this year's mayoral elections and what we will be doing next. 


Clean air zones: making sure no one is left behind

Chloe from our policy team talks us through our new work with IPPR and Transport for All showing how clean air zone policies can be implemented to ensure no one is left behind. 

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