Photo: Adam Hypki
'Once 80% of the population wears a mask, the spread of a virus during a pandemic can be stopped almost immediately.'
There is evidence that masks can significantly reduce the amount of virus spread by people who have Covid-19 but may not realise it. To a lesser degree, they also provide protection against catching it. It’s a pro-social action to wear a mask: My mask protects you; your mask protects me.
The campaign for #Masks4All is gaining momentum. In the Czech Republic, it started as a grassroots campaign and then passed into law. Within three days, almost 100% of citizens were wearing homemade masks.
Professor Trish Greenhalgh spoke on the World At One on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 16 April, pointing out that masks can be made of almost any available fabric, and that even if homemade masks are not 100% effective, if a high percentage of the population are wearing masks, there will be a huge drop in transmission rates.
Wearing cotton masks for essential trips to shops or on public transport is a simple, effective action that will protect all of us, and above all key workers like bus drivers and shop assistants. Homemade masks do not replace existing essential measures - hand-washing, keeping a safe distance, staying in - but they are another tool to fight the virus.Read more
We'd like to spread the word about what individuals can do to protect themselves and tackle air pollution.
With your help, we are going to commission a simple, bold postcard that explains the facts.
We'll produce 20,000 postcards so we can donate them to anyone who wants to give them to friends and neighbours.
Will you help us fund it?
Please make a small donation via this page.
Will you spread the word?
If you'd like to join an anti-idling action in Southwark with other people (training in a friendly, non-confrontational approach will be given!), or receive a pack of postcards to hand out to friends and colleagues, drop us a line on [email protected]
We'll be in touch as soon as the project is funded and the postcards ready!
We are members of the London Clean Air Coalition and we support the Green Party campaign for clean air, including a new Clean Air Act for the 21st century.
Breathing Cities - The Green Party's campaign for Clean Air
Breathe London - run by King's College London Environmental Research Group
Clean Air in London - an incredible source of information and research
Doctors Against Diesel - drawing on their experience of asthma, lung and heart disease
Healthy Air - a good site to start with for the basic facts
Idling Action London - did you know it is against the law to leave engines running when stopped?
Eco-friendly cleaning business owner Ekaterina Belcheva recently appeared on Sky News to showcase sustainable cleaning techniques.
New research suggests that lung function decline in women working as cleaners or regularly using cleaning products at home was comparable to smoking 20 cigarettes a day over 10 to 20 years.
The researchers speculated chemicals in cleaning products irritate the fragile mucous membranes lining the lungs, which over time leads to lasting damage and “remodelling” of the airways.
"When you think of inhaling small particles from cleaning agents that are meant for cleaning the floor and not your lungs, maybe it is not so surprising after all," said Øistein Svanes, a doctoral student who led the study.
Why is the government charging nurses to train, when we have a national shortage? Why is it paying private agencies millions for locum staff, instead of recruiting permanent staff and making sure their workinglife is sustainable?
The Green Party believes in an NHS that looks after us all. Molly Scott Cato, MEP says: ‘A fair tax system goes to the heart of what it means to be a just and equitable society, and it’s necessary to fund our increasingly stretched NHS.’ 60% of people in a recent poll said they thought corporations should pay more tax. Do you agree?
We are calling on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to replace buses on all routes passing through Camberwell Green with hybrid, hydrogen or electric buses by 2018. This is not just about Camberwell! Cleaning up the 15 dirty diesel bus routes will be good for the health of people all along those routes: in Elephant and Castle, Walworth, Vauxhall, Oval, Brixton, Herne Hill, Forest Hill and so on...
Southwark Green Party's recent monitoring of nitrogen dioxide pollution around Camberwell Green has shown that annual levels at the bus stops outside Butterfly Walk/McDonalds on Denmark Hill are more than twice the legal EU limit. The monitor outside McDonalds measured 84 micrograms per cubic metre, while the legal EU limit is 40.
Air pollution affects everyone, and we must take real steps to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulates. This means steps like: fewer journeys by car, cleaner buses and taxis, insulation on homes to reduce the emissions from heating.
George Monbiot wrote a helpful summary of the damage that air pollution is doing to children's health and gave permission for others to reprint it. We have added some advice about how you can protect yourself by reducing your exposure, for example by taking back roads instead of main roads.Read more
There was a strong Green Party presence on the march, with many different groups from across the country coming in their coach-loads. It was great to talk to Greens from places as diverse as East Sussex, Norwich and Stoke-on-Trent.
Larry Sanders's Guardian article on the NHS crisis can be read here.Read more