Scotland’s official Air Quality Website is forecasting elevated levels of air pollution for tomorrow (Friday 10th April), with air pollution safety standards expected to be broken in every local council in Scotland except for Midlothian. [1]


The official health advice to the public for this level of pollution is that adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, who experience symptoms, should consider reducing strenuous physical activity, particularly outdoors. [2]


Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland said, 


“This is the second air pollution episode we’ve had in Scotland in a month. Air pollution from fine particles kills more than 2000 people in Scotland every year, and can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. [3]


“This air pollution from Europe is adding to the problems already created by traffic in our towns and cities. While the Scottish Government might not be able to do much about emissions blowing in from elsewhere, it must do far more to tackle the pollution caused by traffic on our streets. The Government should commit to reducing traffic levels and improving vehicle emissions standards. We need Low Emission Zones rolled out in our cities, better walking and cycling provision and more efficient public transport.


“Air pollution levels in Scotland continue to break annual safety standards which were due to be met in 2010. The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a Low Emission Strategy to clean the air in Scotland, but that Strategy needs to be much more robust and make a clear commitment to cutting traffic levels and cleaning emissions standards. Less traffic on the roads and better vehicle emission standards would protect health and save lives. [4]


“Tackling air pollution will also help us tackle climate change. The transport sector’s contribution to Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions has grown since 1990 and now represents 24% of our total emissions.”




Notes to Editors


[1] For live official air quality readings: http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/. For forecasts, see http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/latest/forecast 


[2] For health advice based on traffic light banding system: http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/air-quality/daqi


[3] Air pollution is a cause of:

– Lung and respiratory conditions, including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer: http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/books/sp161/index.php


– Heart and cardiovascular conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina and heart failure  http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.f7412


– Over 2000 early deaths in Scotland every year: http://www.hpa.org.uk/webc/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1317141074607. (see Table 3 for Scottish figures)


[4] The Scottish Government’s Low Emission Strategy Consultation can be found at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/01/3287 


Friends of the Earth Scotland is running an online action calling on people to respond to the consultation, foes.do/LowEmissionStrat


[5] Friends of the Earth Scotland is:


* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation


* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland


* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk