Air Quality a major concern among voters.

A new survey by Opinium shows that 40% of UK adults would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to tackle air pollution.

Air pollution is a pressing problem in today’s society and last week’s news about a young girl’s fatal asthma attack potentially being linked to the country’s poor air quality shows just how big of an issue it really is.

A survey by Opinium suggests that 71% of UK adults are either somewhat or very concerned about air pollution for their own health, and the health of other people[1]. A survey by Censuswide for BEAMA also shows that 68.9% of UK adults believe that indoor air quality is equally as important to outdoor air quality[2].

According to a government report published in 2018, poor air quality has been classified as the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK[3]. However, with growing concerns about the illegal levels of air pollution in the country, Opinium’s survey finds that nearly half (47%) of UK adults believe the government is not doing enough to tackle air pollution.

Outdoor air is a major threat to public health in the UK, but what many people don’t know is that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air and contain up to 900 potentially dangerous chemicals, particles and biological materials [4].

57% of UK adults believe that it should be the government’s responsibility to tackle outdoor air pollution[5] and 73.4% of UK adults believe that the government should make indoor air quality a government priority as well [6].

“The government’s plans for reducing air quality have been widely criticised and deemed inadequate by the High Court. The public clearly believe national government should play a bigger role – in fact the biggest role – in introducing measures to reduce air pollution. The government should be helping to establish a larger network of low emission zones across England.” Says Eamonn Ives, researcher at Bright Blue.

As we spend 90% of our time indoors and around 16 hours a day in our homes[7], it is important that light is not only shed on the countries issues with outdoor air pollution but also its indoor environments. Poor indoor air quality has a reported annual cost to the UK of over 204,000 healthy life years, with 45% of those lost to cardiovascular diseases, 23% lost to asthma and allergy and 15% to lung cancer [8]. A new Scottish study has also shown links in air pollution spikes and hospital admissions [9] further providing evidence for the air pollution issues this country is facing.

Opinium’s survey shows that 40% of UK adults would be more likely to vote for a party which promised to tackle air pollution. The costs to the NHS and the UKs public health due to outdoor and indoor air pollution is greater than ever and can no longer be ignored.

Want to find out more about how you can improve your indoor air quality? Visit our page on “tips & advice for a healthy home”.


[1] Will Date. (2018). Poll shows air quality a ‘major concern’ among voters. Available: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/09/poll-shows-air-quality-a-major-concern-among-voters/. Last accessed 12 July 2018.
[2] BEAMA – My Health My Home. (2017). Indoor Air Pollution Survey. Censuswide. The survey was conducted from a representative sample of 1000 UK householders. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
[3] DEFRA (2018) Clean Air Strategy http://www.gov.uk/government/publications
[4] European Commission, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate, Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER). Opinion on risk assessment on indoor air quality. 2007.
[5] Will Date. (2018). Poll shows air quality a ‘major concern’ among voters. Available: https://www.airqualitynews.com/2018/07/09/poll-shows-air-quality-a-major-concern-among-voters/. Last accessed 12 July 2018.
[6] BEAMA – My Health My Home. (2017). Indoor Air Pollution Survey. Censuswide. The survey was conducted from a representative sample of 1000 UK householders. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
[7] European Commission, Joint Research Centre – Institute for Health and Consumer Protection. Report No. 23. Ventilation, Good Indoor Air Quality and Rational Use of Energy. 2003.
[8] National Institute for Health and Welfare. Efficient reduction of indoor exposures. Health benefits from optimizing ventilation, filtration and indoor source controls. 2013
[9] https://www.dundee.ac.uk/news/2018/air-pollution-levels-linked-to-spikes-in-hospital-and-gp-visits.php

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