Why Black Child Clean Air?
Did you know that Black women in the UK face alarming risks during pregnancy?
Black women are nearly four times more likely to die during childbirth compared to white women. That's not all – Black women also have a higher incidence of pre-term birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth, which are heartbreaking tragedies that no parent should endure. These statistics demand our attention and immediate action.
But what does air pollution have to do with all of this?
Well, it turns out that environmental factors play a crucial role. For example, Black Londoners are three times more likely to breathe in illegal levels of air pollution. And guess what? This worsens the risks for expectant mothers, making their journey even more perilous. Astonishingly, living in areas with high pollution levels doubles the likelihood of experiencing stillbirth, as well as increasing the risk of pre-term birth and miscarriage.
That's where our groundbreaking report comes in.
We have tailored it specifically to understand the attitudes, behaviors, and experiences of Black pregnant women and mothers regarding air pollution because their voices and experiences matter. We want to bring their stories to the forefront and start a dialogue about the pressing challenges they face concerning air pollution and maternal and child health. Currently, the environmental sector is one of the least diverse sectors, next to farming, which means that the very people at the forefront of environmental injustice are least likely to have their voices heard.
Air Pollution is a social justice AND racial justice issue
We understand that the current Black maternal health crisis is complex, with various factors perpetuating structural inequities. However, we cannot overlook the important role that the environment plays in causing and exacerbating current maternal health inequalities. By centering the voices and experiences of Black pregnant women and mothers, we aim to spark an inclusive and comprehensive conversation around clean air. Our goal is to address these urgent challenges head-on in a culturally sensitive and inclusive way, paving the way for a healthier and more equitable future for Black mothers and their children.
This life-saving research illustrates how much work we still need to do in order to educate everyone about the dangers of toxic air.
“Poor air quality is not just a public health issue but a matter of social justice. Evidence shows that thousands of Londoners are dying prematurely from long-term exposure to air pollution every year with toxic air impacting us from birth through to old age. Unfortunately, these effects fall disproportionately on those from Black and Asian communities.
“I’d like to thank Global Black Maternal Health for their work on this vital issue and for their recommendations to help reduce the levels of toxic air in the capital. Together we can build a better London for everyone – a safer, fairer, greener city for all Londoners."
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
“In the UK, women and children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds experience a disproportionate burden of health impacts from air pollution. There is clear evidence that exposure to pollution during pregnancy increases the risk of poor pregnancy outcomes including stillbirth, low birth weight and preterm birth.
“This new report adds to the existing body of research that air quality, and the health equity issues that come with polluted air, must be taken seriously by policymakers. Sustainability is a strategic priority for our College, and we will carefully consider the report recommendations to inform our work in this important area. As obstetricians and gynaecologists we have a role in ensuring policymakers, our colleagues and the people we care for feel able to respond to the health risks of environmental pollutants and the related issue of climate change”
Dr Ranee Thakar, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
1st Annual Black Child Clean Air Conference
On the 15th June 2023, Clean Air Day, we launched our first-of-its-kind Black Child Clean Air Report at the 1st Annual Black Child Clean Air Conference in London. Photos from the conference can be viewed below.
Our Black Child Clean Air Attendees represented senior decision makers from organisations across public health and industry including...
Get in Touch
Black Child Clean Air is a subsidary of Global Black Maternal Health.
To get in touch please email us on the email address below or fill out the form and we will respond promptly.