Clean Air Day 2019 | Association of Anaesthetists
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Clean Air Day 2019

National Clean Air Day 2019

We are pleased to be supporting national Clean Air Day on 20 June. It is the UK’s largest air pollution awareness campaign since its inception in 2017.

To support Clean Air Day, the Association is calling on its members and anaesthesia teams to take action within their own hospitals and support this initiative to inspire change to make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.

Chair of the Association of Anaesthetists’ Environment and Sustainability Committee Dr Samantha Shinde says: “We see the impact of air pollution on patients today – but are also thinking about how our practice and the use of anaesthetic gases and vapours may impact on future generations by contributing to climate change. Improving our air quality, whether it is by altering our clinical practice or by changing the way we live our lives at home offers health benefits to everyone.”  

"Improving our air quality, whether it is by altering our clinical practice or by changing the way we live our lives at home offers health benefits to everyone." - Dr Samantha Shinde

Thinking about anaesthetic gases and vapours on Clean Air Day 2019 

The government has set a target to reduce our carbon footprint and we are actively working towards this goal. 

Raising awareness through educating and informing about the impact of anaesthetic gases and vapours on climate change is one way in which we can do this. 

To find out more visit the environmental section of our website.

Achievements and progress 

We are also marking the day by highlighting the many positive developments in the last year.

  • The NHS Long Term Plan commits to 2% of the NHS carbon footprint reduction to be delivered via the transformation of anaesthetic practice. We’re working closely with the Sustainable Development Unit to advise on ways to implement this reduction. 
  • In May, we held a successful environmental stakeholders meeting at the Association, bringing together people from various different sectors with an interest in sustainability, who can help influence change. 
  • We have appointed the first ever fellow in environmentally sustainable anaesthesia, Dr Cathy Lawson.  The fellowship is supported by the Association of Anaesthetists, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals. 
  • We are developing a network of Green Champions and a library of case studies to ensure that key sustainability messages are widely available to all anaesthetists in the UK, Ireland and beyond to help everyone embed sustainable practices within their departments.

Environment Fellow Dr Lawson says:  “This is a very exciting time.  We have such great opportunities to make a real positive difference to climate change and sustainability within our specialty, and the outputs from this Fellowship will help us to get there.  Developing initiatives in collaboration with the Association of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Anaesthetists, College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and other stakeholders will enable us to share and promote sustainable practices”.  

"We have such great opportunities to make a real positive difference to climate change and sustainability within our specialty." - Dr Cathy Lawson

What you can do to support Clean Air Day

  • Think about the carbon footprint of getting to work and in delivering care. 
  • Start a ‘green’ conversation with your colleagues and see what changes you might make together (e.g. switch from driving the car to walking, cycling or taking public transport). 
  • Learn about the environmental impact of anaesthetic drugs and techniques and consider the environmental impact of the choices you make.
  • Inspire others to join you – host a clean air day event to raise awareness or join an event that’s happening near you – visit the clean air day website (link here) for more details.
  • Spread the word – let us know here at the Association what you’re doing in your department on Clean Air Day.  Tweet your initiatives and include @AAGBI #CleanAirDay

Find out more:

1. Clean Air Day Campaign 
2. Sustainable Development Unit. Carbon Hotspots
3. Sherman J, Le C, Lamers V, Eckelman M.  Life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of anaesthetic drugs.  Anesth analg 2012; 114(5):1086-90.
4. NHS long term plan


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