- My book: Clearing The Air -

shortlisted for:

I've been working on my first book - Clearing the Air: the beginning and the end of air pollution - since 2016. It was released by Bloomsbury on 21st March, 2019.

Like many people, I had become increasingly alarmed by the headlines regarding the health effects of air pollution. Living in London at the time, I was confronted with a jarring reality: here was a rich capital city, known for its tree-lined streets and plentiful parks, and yet it had some of the worst diesel pollution in the world. Air pollution is killing people in the UK in the tens of thousands every year, and across the world in the millions. Yet, despite being a sustainability journalist, I didn't really know the science behind these figures. 

What is air pollution? Why is it bad for our health? And - perhaps most importantly - what can we do about it?

My journey for the answers took me much further afield than just London, incorporating Delhi, Beijing, Paris, Helsinki and, er, Milton Keynes. While shocked by the impact air pollution has on societies, I also found an optimistic vision for how cities can start clearing the air. The answers, the solutions, are within our grasp... 

Five ways to avoid air pollution where you live

Air pollution is the top environmental risk to health in the UK. Thursday is Clean Air Day, which aims to highlights the risks of air pollution and encourage people to change their habits to help make the air we breathe cleaner. With most forms of air pollution invisible to the naked eye, how can you avoid inhaling the pollutants where you live? Environmental journalist and author Tim Smedley shares his five top tips in the video above. Air pollution is a combination of gases such as nitrogen o

Deadly air in our cities: the invisible killer

"In the winter you can taste and smell the pollution,” says Kylie ap Garth, drinking coffee in a cafe in Hackney, east London. “My eldest is eight and he has asthma. Being outside, he would have a tight chest and cough. I just assumed it was the cold weather. I didn’t realise there was a link to the cars.” She is not exaggerating. The main road from Bethnal Green tube station is clogged with traffic, the smell of diesel fumes mixing with smoke from barbecue grill restaurants and construction dust.