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Chief Medical Officer’s annual report 2022: air pollution

Professor Chris Whitty’s third annual report will be published on Thursday 8th December.

Outdoor air quality in this country has improved significantly since the 1980s. We can and should go further to reduce air pollution – and it is technically possible to do so.

Air pollution affects us all. It is associated with impacts on lung development in children, heart disease, stroke, cancer, exacerbation of asthma and increased mortality, among other health effects. Except for air quality in our own homes, we have little control as individuals over the level of pollution that we and our families breathe – this must be seen as a societal problem to solve.

The report highlights achievable solutions across different sectors and makes the case that we need to continue to be active in reducing outdoor air pollution. Whilst a better understanding of how we can prevent and reduce indoor air pollution is needed.

The chapters are:

Chapter 1 – Air pollution and health.

Chapter 2 – Outdoor air pollution emissions and recent trends.

Chapter 3 – How air pollution is changing.

Chapter 4 – Outdoor and indoor air pollution solutions.

Chapter 5 – Air pollution chemistry, monitoring, forecasting and information.

Chapter 6 – City examples – work to reduce air pollution.

Chapter 7 – Air pollution research and innovation.


Speakers included:

Prof Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer

Dr Deborah Jenkins, Public Health Registrar and Editor of the report

Prof Alastair Lewis, Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York, and Chair of the Defra Air Quality Expert Group


This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.

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