This weekend (20th-22nd Sep), now in its 21st year, CUTW 2013 will include such activities as planting trees, cleaning parks or beaches, conserving water or running environmental awareness-raising and education initiatives – whatever the local need might be.
It began in 1987 when Ian Kiernan, having seen the devastating effects of rubbish and pollution, decided it was time to take action. In 1990 the first national, community-based clean up day was organised in his home country of Australia. In 1993 Clean Up the World was launched with the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and 30 million people in 80 countries were mobilised.
image by: Marvel (based upon a NASA image)
A Health and Social Care Information Centre survey of 7,590 young people aged 11 to 15 reports a significant reduction over the decade 2002-2012 in those who had drunk alcohol, smoked cigarettes or used drugs:
YEAR: 2002 2012
alcohol 61% 43%
cigarettes 42% 23%
drugs 27% 17%
picture by: Albert Roosenboom
In England, where asthma affects almost 5.9% of the population and one in every 11 children, two independent studies have demonstrated significant reductions in asthma attacks since smoking was banned in public places in July 2007.
The first study, by researchers at Imperial College London, examined the number of children admitted to hospital with symptoms of asthma. They showed the reduction was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years of the law coming into effect and 12.3% fewer admissions in the first year with subsequent reductions in the following years. Prior to the implementation of the ban, hospital admissions for children suffering a severe asthma attack were increasing by 2.2% per year.
The second study, by researchers at the University of Bath, examined the 502,000 emergency admissions for asthma among adults aged 16 and over in England between April 1997 and December 2010. They showed the reduction was equivalent to 1,900 fewer A&E admissions for adult asthma patients each year since the ban and that results were consistent across the country. Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, commented “This is important new research that further demonstrates how the smoking ban has dramatically improved people’s lives”.
photo by: Coyau