Is Air Pollution an Occupational Health Hazard?
Air pollution and its effects have been in the news a lot recently, and people who work outside all the time are most at risk. In a recent report, the British Safety Council has said that air pollution does constitute an occupational health hazard, along with hazards like noise.
According to DEFRA, traffic emissions are now the major cause of air pollution, so anyone whose job involves being outside in urban areas would seem to be at risk. And the BSC report says that over 9,400 people die as a result of air pollution in London alone, which is the main reason that the mayor has introduced the Low Emission Zone in an attempt to clean up the air.
The report goes on to say that the government and its regulatory bodies demonstrate a lack of interest in regulating air pollution, which is now being acknowledged as a major public health risk.
Not Where You Might Think
Some surprising places have been cited as having the worst levels of air pollution in the UK, meaning that specialists in occupational health Gloucester, which is home to six of the country’s worst locations, must really be on top of this issue.
The BSC has launched a campaign which is focussed on protecting those who work outdoors and directs outdoor workers to an app that calculates exposure to pollution. This has the potential to be an asset to practitioners of occupational health Gloucester, where there are some highly polluted areas.
The report goes on to ask the government to adopt the WHO’s exposure limits for the main pollutants. In the meantime, organisations employing those who work outside, particularly in highly polluted areas, might be well advised to utilise the services of those who can advise on how to protect their workforce, such as specialists in occupational health Gloucester.
Parts of London, such as Kensington, are undoubtedly among the most polluted areas. However, Cheltenham High Street comes a close second, according to Friends of the Earth. Ambient air pollution is linked to a number of conditions such as lung disease and heart disease and, less obviously, type-2 diabetes. It would be a shame to see all our citizens wearing protective masks as they do in other countries. It’s time for immediate action.