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Time to Breathe

40,000 deaths a year are caused by air pollution, according to a government report. Outdoor workers have been ignored for too long as our pollution crisis deepens. They have a right to clean air. It’s Time to Breathe.


Time to Breathe calls on employers, policy-makers and regulators to start taking seriously the risk of ambient air pollution to the health of outdoor workers.

COP26 update:

We are currently taking our message to Glasgow, for the COP26 conference being held between 31 October and 12 November 2021.

We have a large banner on a main road close to the main COP26 venue. If you are at COP26, and see our banner, please photograph and share it on social media, using #TimetoBreathe.

If not, don’t worry we’ll be sharing photos and videos from the event, in the meantime here’s what our banner looks like:

If you care about the health of outdoor workers, Time to Breathe is the campaign for you. Our free pollution app Canairy, built in partnership with Imperial College, London will help outdoor workers reduce their exposure to air pollution. Apply for the app here.

Time to Breathe’s White paper explores the evidence and assesses what actions the Government, employers and stakeholders should take to minimise the health impacts of pollution on outdoor workers.

The campaign is providing visual materials to encourage people to stop, think and act to reduce air pollution exposure. Please share these free images. Together we can all cut-through the inertia that is putting lives at risk.

Canairy App

Time to Breathe - Professor Frank Kelly

Watch now

Outdoor workers in their thousands include street cleaners, refuse workers, traffic police, cycle couriers, construction workers, maintenance workers, newspaper sellers, gardeners, teachers or security guards working on busy roads. As a group, they help us cross the road, guard our children, fill potholes, deliver our food and ensure we have clean water, electricity, WiFi or cycle lanes.

Time to Breathe is calling for:

  • Employers to take ambient air pollution seriously and protect their outdoor workers from the worst levels of toxic air
  • Improvements to pollution monitoring across the UK so that all regions have the same accuracy as London for emissions data
  • The UK to adopt World Health Organisation (WHO) exposure limits for the main pollutants of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and ozone
  • Everyone to reduce their pollution footprint. Let’s use clean energy, cycle and walk more to reduce emissions.
  • Workers and trades unions to raise this issue with their employers and show the evidence about the risks. See Unite’s Diesel Exhaust Emissions Register

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    Canairy: the pollution app for outdoor workers

    Find out more about Canairy, the pollution app for outdoor workers.

    Read more
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    Information for employers

    Find out how you can protect the health of your outdoor workers.

    Read more
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    What does the evidence say and what can be done?

    Read more
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    Download visual materials to encourage people to stop and think about the issues.

    Read more

Become a Supporter

Air pollution is an issue across all our major cities as well as in the countryside and British Safety Council is planning a series of public events to promote Time to Breathe throughout 2019.

We would love to hear about what you are doing to tackle air pollution or if you would like to get involved in Time to Breathe.

You can support the campaign by contacting your MP urging the need for regulators to address the serious health risk ambient air pollution currently poses on thousands of outdoor workers around the country. Use the attached letter to send to your MP.

Please send a message to [email protected] and one of our team will be in touch.

Please follow us on social media @BritSafe and use the hashtags:


Friends of the Earth Prospect

BOHS Prospect

"BOHS are pleased to support the Time to Breathe campaign. Our Breathe Freely campaign focuses on the threat to workers health from exposures caused by their work, but it’s easy to forget that many workers are exposed to serious risk simply from the environment they work in. Outdoor workers are at particular risk of suffering health problems due to pollution in the wider environment. This campaign and the Canairy app, can help employers do something about that."