Public health, environmental and social determinants of health (PHE)

Public health policy for outdoor air quality

What are public policies that can reduce the health impacts of urban outdoor air pollution?

Reducing the public health impacts of outdoor air pollution requires addressing the main sources of outdoor pollution, including inefficient fossil fuel combustion from motor vehicle transport, power generation and improving energy efficiency in buildings and manufacturing.

Reducing the health effects from urban outdoor air pollution is largely beyond the control of individuals and requires action by public authorities at the national, regional and even international levels.

The public health sector can play a leading role in instigating a multisectoral approach to prevention of exposure to outdoor air pollution, by engaging with and supporting the work of other sectors (i.e. transport, housing, energy, industry) to develop and implement long-term policies and programs aimed to reduce air pollution and improve health.