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Anti-Idling Campaign

Idling Action St Albans – Lets Switch Off for Cleaner Air

Air Quality is an issue that’s growing on the agenda, especially as we learn more and more about how air pollution affects children’s health.

Our Anti-Idling Campaign aims to improve air quality by encouraging drivers to switch off their engines whenever they are parked or stationary for longer than 1 minute. This is because, when vehicles stand stationary with their engines running they emit 20 times more pollution than when they are moving. By switching off your engine when stationary we can improve local air quality, reduce health impacts, reduce emissions that cause climate change and save money.

Because air pollution has a significant impact on children we are keen to ensure that this message reaches local parents and are offering a range of activities and materials to help.

Air Pollution: an invisible health risk

Idling releases unnecessary emissions of nitrous oxides, particulates, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, benzene and other toxic chemicals. These degrade air quality and exacerbate conditions such as asthma, heart and lung disease.

Children are more vulnerable to the effects of air pollution as they breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults. These chemicals affect long-term mental development and lung function and can cause cancer.

We can’t see air pollution but it affects us all. Public Health England (2014) link 5.3% of all deaths in over-25’s to air pollution in Hertfordshire. They estimate that 514 people die prematurely each year in Hertfordshire as a result of ultra-fine particulates (PM2.5) alone.

Across the UK, it is thought that air pollution is responsible for the premature death of 50,000 people per year. When considered against the numbers dying as a result of alcoholism (22,000) or road traffic incidents (1,901) we see the magnitude of this health risk.

How your school can get involved:
Anti-Idler Days

As part of our campaign St Albans Friends of the Earth will be partnering with the Council to provide a range of activities at six local schools. This will include for example, an Assembly, an information stall and anti-idling patrols using local volunteer Idling-Action champions and materials made by the children at pick up and collection times.

We’d love to come and talk to your children and parents. Please email: and

Promote the campaign

Please consider how you can help to educate parents, school contractors and the community more widely. We can provide:

  • Leaflets, posters and content for newsletters
  • A basic factsheet is attached about the effects of poor air quality on children.
  • Signage to install outside your school where drivers tend to idle (must be on your land)

The campaign website is at:

The Facebook Page is:

Twitter: @IdlingActionStA

Anti-Idling Campaign Icons
  • Adobe pdf, 794kb/5 pages, 15/06/2017, icons.pdf