Written evidence submitted by Stephen Holgate, Special Advisor on Air Quality and UKRI Clean Air Champion (AQU0088)


In my capacity as RCP Special Advisor on Air Quality, and UKRI Clean Air Champion, I would be very grateful if you would please consider the following items that have emerged from our RCP 2016 Report and the 2020 RCPCH Report on the adverse health effects of air pollution as well as from our SPF Clean Air Solutions Roadmap:


1. The need for enforceable legally binding air quality targets, not least because these will be beneficial in the most deprived areas where air pollution is worst.

2. The need for an all government multi-departmental and local government joined-up approach with an annual report presented to Parliament.

3 the inclusion of indoor air quality on account  of rising risks and concerns in schools, hospitals workplaces and homes due to growing chemical exposure from cleaning agents materials VOCs etc, “sealing” of homes to conserve energy at the expense of proper ventilation and interactions of indoor generated pollutants with outdoor pollution.

4 sufficient funding for local Government to deliver some CAZs that have been abandoned (including in my own locality of Southampton).

5 The fact that different sources of particulates - diesel, brakes, wood fires, secondary particles and even burnt toast have different toxicity profiles and should not be lumped together as if they were all equally toxic. More research on this is an urgent  need.

6 The strong statistical link with coronavirus and the likely explanation that pollution weakens the organs coronavirus attacks and also upregulates ACE2 receptors for SARS CoV-2 and therefore increases infection susceptibility.



November 2020