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Air Pollution: The Silent Killer and The UK's Greatest Environmental Threat

NEBOSH Environmental


Clean Air Day

was last week on 15 June 2023. But the topic needs more than one day to highlight how important it is. Air pollution is the single most significant environmental health risk in the UK, and requires a health sector response.

Air pollution is the most significant environmental threat to health in the UK, with between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths a year attributed to long-term exposure, (Source Public Health England).

Businesses play a crucial role in championing efforts to reduce air pollution. Here are some actions businesses can take to make a positive impact:

  1. Embrace cleaner and more sustainable technologies that reduce air pollution. For example, transitioning to renewable energy sources like solar or wind power can significantly reduce emissions. Additionally, using electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles for transportation can help minimise pollution from company fleets.
  2. Enhance energy efficiency in business operations by investing in energy-saving technologies, upgrading insulation, and optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Reducing energy consumption lowers pollutant emissions and saves costs in the long run.
  3. Promote flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and remote work options, to reduce commuting-related emissions. Encouraging employees to work from home can significantly decrease traffic congestion and air pollution.

4. Educate employees about the impact of air pollution and encourage them to adopt sustainable practices both at work and in their personal lives. This can include promoting carpooling, biking, or public transportation.

5. Regularly monitor and report the company’s air pollutant emissions. This transparency helps identify improvement areas and allows tracking progress towards pollution reduction goals. Additionally, publicly disclosing emissions data demonstrates the business’s commitment to accountability and sustainability.

6. Businesses can act as role models by implementing sustainable practices and sharing their success stories. By showcasing the benefits of reducing air pollution, they can inspire others to follow suit and create a ripple effect of positive change.

It’s important to note that these actions should be part of a broader sustainability strategy that considers other environmental and social aspects as well. By integrating these efforts into their overall business operations, companies can contribute significantly to championing the reduction of air pollution.

Why Should You Care About The Dirty Air

As both businesses and individuals, we are all in the business of making sure the air around us is pollution free. Yet it is something many take for granted.

As a business, it can be a big ask to ensure you follow steps to understand how your business contributes to air quality and how poor air quality and pollutants can affect your business. No matter how small, there will be actions that you can take and can encourage your employees to take.

Today Ligtas invite you to join us to think about what we can do not just for clean air day but for the future.
Clean air day is a campaign aimed at building awareness of air pollution.

Air pollution is practically invisible, and from the first breath you take to the last, pollution affects you and all the organs in your body. It is linked to 1 in 19 deaths in the UK. (Source ONS stats).
Regardless of whether the pollutant is inside or outside of the building, it can and will affect those inside, contributing to some of the illnesses mentioned.

Evidence suggests that there are links between air pollution and lung cancer, strokes, heart disease, and asthma. (Source Public Health England).

It’s not just pollution from traffic that causes problems; it includes industry and everyone on the planet. So while some sectors do have this under control, it is incumbent on all sectors to make a contribution.

Where can we all start?

Our air pollution crisis is solvable, and there are simple steps we can all take to help avoid toxic air and cut down on the pollution we emit.

  • Reduce hazards with better quality ventilation
  • Remove sources of pollutants or switch to kinder materials and processes
  • Create a clean air plan, implement and measure the impacts
  • Encourage the cycle-to-work scheme
  • If possible, use the land around your buildings for more sustainable activities
  • Look at the materials you use for processes and for manufacturing
  • Monitor what waste you are emitting

The bottom line is everybody can have a positive impact on air quality. Ligtas would like to inspire everyone reading this to understand they can do something to reduce air pollution and limit its impact on their health and that of others.

Awareness is key, and there is strength in numbers. Change your attitude and embrace cleaner air as your responsibility. Take action, no matter how small.

One of the ways to make an impact is through high-quality environmental awareness training. Ligtas recommends the NEBOSH Environmental Certificate.

Course Overview

The NEBOSH Environmental Management Certificate is a globally recognised and leading qualification for managing environmental risk.

It is ideal for those looking to develop a career in the environment and sustainability and implement effective environmental management systems in their organisation.

Key topics

Environmental Management: This unit is made up of nine elements and covers the foundations of environmental management through dealing with environmental emergencies.


Assessing environmental aspects and associated impacts: This is the practical assessment part of the course. It is carried out in the candidate’s workplace, and they must submit the practical assessment within 14 days of the exam date.


  • EMC1: Open Book Exam
  • EMC2: Practical application

Please look online at our course selection or contact our trusted experts at 02922 800 000 or enquiries@ligtas.co.uk to book.

We all have a duty of care to the planet, ourselves, and future generations to change how we live. Everyone deserves to breathe clean air.

‘We rarely think of the air we breathe, yet it’s in us and around us all the time’.

(Credit Thomas Keating)

Where do you want to go today?