Unmask My City campaign

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Unmask My City campaign

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is calling on city authorities to clean up the air in Europe as part of the “Unmask my City” campaign launched today on World Asthma Day 2017.

Air pollution is responsible for one in nine deaths worldwide, and touches everyone — 92% of the human race live in places that do not meet World Health Organisation air quality guidelines. Dirty air knows no borders, and we are all paying the price, not only with increasing morbidity and mortality rates, but also with our ability to work, prosper, and live in a safe global climate.

We have the knowledge, the technology, and the global understanding to address air pollution. All that remains is the public and political will to implement the changes - in cities and in countries - to clean up our air. Addressing air pollution and unmasking our cities by 2030 will have huge immediate and long term benefits for the health of our communities, for our economies, and for our shared global climate.

This is why the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is partnering with health professionals from 11 cities around the world on a campaign to Unmask Our Cities. Health professionals from Istanbul to London to Chennai to Sao Paulo have gotten involved to raise awareness and sound the alarm about the many health impacts of outdoor air pollution - from impacts on lung and heart health, to increased chronic diseases such as diabetes, to impacts on birth outcomes and cognitive development.

This global initiative, coordinated by the Global Climate and Health Alliance together with the Health and Environment Alliance, Health Care Without Harm, the US Climate and Health Alliance, and the UK Health Alliance for Climate Change, aims to promote practical solutions and create tangible local and national policy changes to drive a clear, downward global trend in urban air pollution by 2030. HEAL will be leading the campaign in Europe.

Many of the solutions, such as alternative transport fuels, switching freight to trains, replacing coal with renewable power sources, providing cleaner fuels for home heating, and better infrastructure and urban planning to support active travel policies, will improve people’s health and reduce global warming simultaneously. This will result in significant reductions in illnesses and deaths while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A clear win-win!

The campaign was launched on 2 May 2017 (World Asthma Day) in ten cities all over the world, with five of them masterminded by the HEAL team – in Warsaw, Belgrade and Istanbul, Adana and Hatay in Turkey, all of which are air pollution hotspots.

Resources and additional information

• Find out more about the Unmask My City campaign on http://unmaskmycity.org/en/

Videos and shareable social media cardsfrom the campaign are available from the campaign website.

• Factsheets (in English) are available from here.

• Read our flyer on the Unmask My City campaign, which was developed in the context of the Sixth WHO Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health side event, 13 June 2017, organised by HEAL with the support of the Kingdom of Belgium, Plan National d’Action Environnement Sante belge

• Read our press release online, supported by the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME), International Association of mutual Benefit Societies (AIM), European Respiratory Society (ERS), European Academy of Allergy and clinical Immunology (EAACI), European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients’ Associations (EFA), European Lung Foundation (ELF), and the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG).

• Read our Serbian press release online here. Shareable social media cards and media tips are available from here.

• Read the press release for the launch in Adana, Turkey here.

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

Contact us

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
28 Boulevard Charlemagne
B1000 Brussels, Belgium
Phone: +32 2 234 3640
Fax: +32 2 234 3649
E-mail: info@env-health.org
Press: Elke Zander

Direct telephone numbers: HEAL team page.

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