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Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd


Editorial Archive

How good is the air quality where you live and work?

February 2018
Sheila Pantry OBE

Good air quality is a basic requirement and determinant of health. In the UK 814 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) exist where pollutant levels exceed legislative standards. With some of these standards set at twice the World Health Organisation acceptable levels it is clear that air quality is a significant public health issue.

In the UK, air pollution costs businesses and health care services in excess of £20 billion annually and, in 2010, the Department of Health’s Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) reported that long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution caused the equivalent of approximately 29,000 deaths in 2008 in the UK. Current work by the committee suggests that the effect might be even greater. The failure of the UK to meet legislative and arguably more importantly WHO standards, has led to increased hospital admissions placing excess burden on the NHS. With air quality spanning a wide range of policy areas it is clear that everyone has a role to play in improving air quality.

The health implications of poor air quality (on the general population, communities and individuals, including the vulnerable).

Poor outdoor air quality results in around 40,000 premature deaths annually in the UK. There is evidence of the contribution of poor air quality to illnesses such as cancer, stroke, asthma and heart disease and there are also strong associations with obesity, dementia and diabetes, all of which are chronic illnesses on the increase in the UK.

The effects are especially evident in vulnerable people such as children, the elderly and those with existing cardiovascular and respiratory issues.

Whilst higher socio-economic groups are also exposed to poor air quality, the impact on these groups is much less than on lower status groups, making air quality a matter of social injustice.

Furthermore, the majority of vehicular journeys are undertaken by people in the top 20% of income groups, with the health impacts of these journeys adversely and disproportionally affecting those in the bottom 20% of income groups. It therefore follows that improvements in air quality can result in narrowing of inequalities in health.

For further information read this month’s OSHWORLD FOCUS which is entitled The UK Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Improving air quality by Tony Lewis – Head of Policy at the CIEH.



This time of the year is a good time for all organisations worldwide to review their health and safety goals for 2018 and decide on the training or re-training that is needed for all levels of staff and update their information resources.

Check out these successful efforts that are in OSH UPDATE + FIRE and OSHWORLD and introduce them into your workplace!

Then try these long established Practical, Affordable Solutions for your health, safety, fire and environment information needs from Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd.

For a 15 DAY FREE NO OBLIGATION TRIAL contact: Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd | email: | or fill in the Interest form

Update your 2018 diaries with training for workers at all levels

Whether you are a manager, director, safety representative, supervisors or worker it is time to

Remember that even if you cannot attend these many events, speakers and organisers are often willing to share their knowledge. Look at the details – where possible, we add in the web sites of these events so you can request further information. And do let me know if you are organising any OSHE events so that these can be added to the OSHWORLD Diary.

OSHWORLD – your portal to some great OSH web sites in the world

Wherever you are in the world have a look at your health, safety, chemical, fire and environment procedures in your workplace and update them. Your review may also indicate training requirements and re-thinking how systems and services can be improved. This is where the free-of-charge OSHWORLD can help you.

Resources for you to quickly access

In addition to the above we hope that you find the information in OSHWORLD useful in your daily work. Globally there are continually new titles, news items, new products so remember to look at the News to find the latest information from a range of worldwide sources.

Use OSHWORLD as your portal to many hundreds of validated and authoritative web sites that you can find in the Country and Subject links we offer. New subject topics are constantly brought together on web sites, e.g. nanotechnology and the workplace.

Most information services have a reference shelf where you can quickly check the reference sources – so OSHWORLD brings you a collection of Reference sources and also teaches you how to Search the Internet.

Visit the various Bookshops to order any new document as they are being published. Many of these Bookshops have a constant stream of new titles available.

Please send any suggestions or comments about OSHWORLD – your portal to validated and authoritative information. Remember also to look at our other really useful sites – and why not make a free entry about your company’s products in

Don’t forget to learn from history – visit
An invaluable resource for students, lecturers, trainers, health and safety professionals and others with a general interest in industrial history, the site sets out developments from the 1802 Factory Act all the way through to the most recent regulatory changes made by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Don’t work harder – work smarter! Be ahead of the game.

Well did you have a zero accident, incident-free and healthy year in your workplace? Some would argue that this is not possible! But keep on trying again in 2018.

And do continue to make plans for your campaigns for 2018 and beyond!