What can I do about air pollution?
There are a number of actions you can take to help improve air quality and to protect yourself and your family from air pollution. One of the key things to remember is that every little helps, we can collectively make a difference to the air we all breathe.
Reduce emissions to air
One of the key sources of air pollution in Scotland is road traffic; some of the things you can do to help reduce emissions from road traffic are:
- Use your car less and use public transport if you can
- Walk or cycle, which is good for your health too
- Car share whenever possible
- Use a low emission vehicle such as an electric or hybrid car
- Avoid driving during congested peak traffic periods
Heating systems for homes and other buildings can also be a source of air pollution. Combustion of fuels such as coal, oil, gas and wood (sometimes now described as biomass) all result in emissions to air. Some of the things you can do to reduce emissions to air from domestic heating are:
- Be as energy efficient as possible by insulating your home
- Be aware of the pollution controls where you live - if you live in a smoke control area, you should be aware of the types of permitted fuels and appliances required when burning coal or wood
- Use electric heating powered by non-combustion forms of renewable energy
More information on this and links to other resources are provided in the Reducing Pollutant Emissions page of the site.
Protecting yourself from air pollution
By being aware of local air quality and how it can impact on health; you can help protect yourself and your family from air pollution. Some things you can do to reduce your exposure to air pollution are:
- Avoid busy roads when cycling, exercising or walking
- Be aware of days when air quality is expected to be poor (use the Know & Respond service)
The potential health effects associated with exposure to elevated air pollution levels; and the precautions that can be followed to minimise the effects of air pollution on your health are described further in the Protecting my health section of the site.