How many UAE residents try to reduce POLLUTION?

19 November 2019

Lab Chat

Over half of Emirati residents take active measures to combat air pollution, according to a study released by YouGov. Compiled from the online answers of 1,005 survey respondents between May 20th and May 27th 2019, the report demonstrates that 57% of UAE residents are doing their bit to fight pollution.

Just over a quarter (26%) of respondents said they employed pollution-reducing measures on a regular basis, while nearly a third (31%) revealed that they do it whenever they remember. The figures show that UAE citizens are cognisant of the problem of air pollution and want to implement counter measures when possible.

Most common forms of pollution mitigation

Respondents to the survey reported a wide array of different measures that they employed to try and reduce their carbon footprint and alleviate air pollution. The most common forms of pollution mitigation included:

  • Turning off household appliances when not in use and using energy-efficient options to save electricity (69%)
  • Recycling or reusing products as much as possible (61%)
  • Limiting their use of air conditioners to a minimum temperature of 24°C (61%) • Switching off the car engine when not in motion (60%)
  • Using cleaning products that have been certified as eco-friendly (59%)
  • Only using dishwashers and washing machines when full (58%)
  • Maintaining car engines to ensure environmentally-friendly performance (58%)
  • Keeping indoor plants capable of absorbing contaminants in the home or office (58%)
  • Limiting the amount of time spent in the shower (56%)
  • Reducing the use of private cars by walking/cycling/carpooling/using public transport (49%)
  • Splitting waste into biodegradable and non-biodegradable divisions (48%) • Only smoking outdoors (47%)
  • Raising awareness about air pollution through participation in community events (36%)
  • Investing in air quality monitors (30%)

Awareness on the increase

The YouGov research also found that almost half of all Emiratis have experienced (or have family members who have experienced) air pollution symptoms via irritation and discomfort in the eyes, nose or throat. 35% reported they have suffered skin allergies due to poor air quality, while 34% said they had experienced breathlessness due to the dire state of Emirati air.

28% said they believed air pollution had exacerbated existing respiratory conditions, like asthma, while 14% believed it had detrimentally affected their mental health. This direct experience with the issue could go some way to explaining the widespread action of Emiratis in tackling the problem, but of course, it’s not just in the UAE where awareness around air pollution has been increasing.

Teenage activist Greta Thunberg recently gave an impassioned speech at the UN summit, pointing the finger at world leaders who have failed to take an effective stance on the issue and raising the profile of environmental issues all over the globe. As a result, air pollution and climate change have become two of the biggest and most talked-about challenges facing humanity in recent history.

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