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Trade Union Clean Air Network Newsletter Published

This website reported on the launch of the Trade Union Clean Air Network (TUCAN), early this year as part of the ‘Hazards Campaign’ and linked to the ‘Greener Jobs Alliance (GJC)’, working to generate worker/Trade Union awareness and a for the Trade Union voice to be prominent in the public debate on the issue of air pollution, waste, the environment and climate change.

TUCAN has joined the fight against air pollution and occupational health damage as concerns continue to grow. Much air pollution is caused by industry and work-related activities.

A recent report published in the Guardian newspaper makes for horrendous reading in terms of the affects that air pollution has on pregnant women. For the first time, the link between birth defects and miscarriages and the black carbon contained in heavily polluted air from traffic fumes; has been shown and the fact that such particles are now proven to cross-over the placenta barrier and be absorbed in to the unborn child’s organs and even course miscarriages.

CWU’s Dave Joyce wrote today to all the union’s branches to promote the work being done by the Health & Safety Dept as a member of TUCAN:

There is rightly a public outcry about air pollution as a public health emergency. 36,000 deaths a year are caused by air pollution, according to a government report. Outdoor workers have been ignored for too long as the pollution crisis deepens.

Government strategy however has been essentially to ‘kick the can down the road’ by delaying vital measures or passing it over to local authorities to sort out.

‘TUCAN developed a “Charter” providing a set of demands for Unions to prioritise in campaigns at local, regional, national and international level. TUCAN also developed ‘Guidance on Air pollution for Union Reps’, a Pollution checklist for health, safety and environment reps and the ‘TUCAN Charter’ promoting best practice and to raise awareness:

The ‘TUCAN Charter’

Introduce a new Clean Air Act that enshrines the right to breathe clean air.
Update Health and Safety Law (such as COSHH).
Ensure effective enforcement.
Involve the workforce.
Protect jobs.
Rapidly expand clean and inexpensive public transport systems alongside investment
in active transport to increase levels of cycling and walking.

The newly published first edition of the TUCAN Newsletter covers these subjects and more:

Air pollution as a just transition issue
Driver exposure
The TUC seminar on Respiratory Health
Air pollution and pregnancy

You can download it now from the Unionsafety E-Library or by clicking the pic above.

Source: CWU / TUCAN / The Guardian

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