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Government announces a public consultation on air pollutants early next year, 2022

A public consultation on new legal targets for particulate matter; which can be produced in different ways including woodburners, gas fires and open fires; is being launched in early 2022, according to DEFRA.

The Government has always supported the recommendation of chimney sweeps, such as James the Sweep in Tunbridge Wells, in advising consumers to use indoor fires correctly as a means to reduce air pollution. Simple tricks such as using dry wood, burning at a high rate and keeping chimneys clean have a radical effect on supporting a cleaner environment.

In regards to the consultation, Defra says: “On particulate matter limits, a public consultation on new legal targets for PM2.5 and other pollutants will launch early next year, with the aim of setting new targets in legislation by October 2022. The Government has used the World Health Organisation guidelines on PM2.5 to inform its ambitions in shaping these targets. Further to this, the new Office for Health Promotion will consider as a priority how public health benefits can be achieved through reductions in population exposure to PM2.5, taking into account the particular circumstances experienced in London and the South East.

“As well as a simple concentration target on PM2.5, the Government is developing a more sophisticated population exposure reduction target. This aims to drive reductions not just in pollution “hotspots”, but in all areas. In setting these new targets, there will also be a commitment to significantly increase the monitoring network to capture more detailed air quality information across the country.”

You can read the Defra summary here, written in response to a Coroner’s Prevention of Future Deaths Report, after the reopening of the inquest into the tragic death of Ella Kissi-Debrah in 2013.

James the Sweep supports any effort to combat climate change and air pollution, and reducing particulate matter is an important part of that. This is why chimney sweeping is so crucial for appliances. Clogged chimney flues not only pose a fire hazard and a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, they also foster an unhelpful environment encouraging air pollutants. Clean chimneys, used with safe burning methods, are scientifically proven to be more beneficial to the environment.