Air pollution has now become a public health crisis. Almost a third of preventable deaths (36,000) in England are due to air pollution. It can affect everyone from birth to death it surrounds us in every way. Every year tens of thousands of people visit hospitals suffering from various conditions that have been exacerbated by air pollution. For instance, asthma, stroke, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, diabetes, and premature birth. However, research has found that 1 in 4 hospitals in England is located in areas that exceed safe levels of air pollution as determined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Hospitals are pivotal to the nation’s health and wellbeing and can play a crucial part in improving the impact of air pollution.
In 2018, Great Ormond Street Hospital asked environmental charity Global Action Plan “What would a Clean Air Hospital look like, and how would it operate?” It was discovered however, there was no clear pathway or guidance for this. As a result, they teamed up together to create “The Clean Air Hospital Framework”. This combined Global Action Plan’s expertise and air quality initiatives with Great Ormond Street Hospital’s expert knowledge of running a world-leading hospital. The framework was created to guide others on ways to minimise air pollution in and around hospitals.
What Is Air Pollution?
An air pollutant is anything within the air that could harm a person’s health. Pollutants of major public health concern include particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide. All of which can easily and quickly penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream.
Pollution can derive from a variety of sources including industrial, commercial, and residential emissions, transport, and agriculture. Exposure to it has been linked to a plethora of health issues. These include asthma, COPD, coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Why Does Clean Air Matter?
With over 400 hospitals in the UK and 16,500 worldwide, they should be places that improve our health. However, in a study conducted by the British Lung Foundation, 2,220 GP Practices and 248 hospitals in the UK are in locations with high air pollutants. This included cities like Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, and Leicester having at least one large NHS trust located in an area with unsafe levels of pollution. In addition to small towns such as Gillingham, Worthing, and Kettering in some cases 50% higher than the recommended limit. The effects of air pollution on individuals of all ages are vast in particular children. It can cause irreversible damage to children’s growing lungs and hearts.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, comments “We know toxic air pollution stunts the growth of children’s lungs and worsens chronic illnesses such as asthma, lung, and heart disease. That is why it is unacceptable that all of London’s hospitals, medical centers, and care homes, which look after some of the most vulnerable Londoners when they are most unwell, are in areas that exceed the World Health Organisation guideline limit for pollution”.
Air pollution in and around hospitals is due to various sources such as transport, for patients, staff, or visitors and materials used to keep the areas clean. The Clean Air Hospital Framework outlines the vision for what it means to be a clean air hospital and how to achieve it. It provides a clear step-by-step plan to make it easier for hospitals to act on their air quality.
Electric Hospital Equipment
The evidence is clear of the effects air pollution has upon human beings. Therefore, it is paramount hospitals move towards becoming a clean air hospitals. Therefore, improving the air quality in and around their area, protecting staff, patients, and overall public health.
ePower Trucks, offer professional electric vehicles for in and around hospital sites of all sizes. With electric pedestrian trucks for patients, staff, and visitors, hospital bed movers, and electric towing equipment. No matter what job you require we have all the hospital equipment you require. Our fully electric equipment does not emit any CO2 emissions or sound. Therefore, enabling you to reduce air as well as noise pollution around your hospital.
We have various electric hospital vehicles that can transport heavy loads of up to 7,250kg even over long distances. In addition to Glutton® cleaning equipment to ensure all your areas are kept to the highest standards. Contact ePower Trucks today to find out more about our services.