Businessman donates £50,000 to help tackle indoor air pollution

The charitable donation will help support the RCPCH, as part of a working group, to study the effects of indoor air pollution on child health and what can be done to combat it.
From left to right: Professor Stephen Holgate, David Evans MBE, Professor Jonathan Grigg, Professor Russell Viner

David Evans, MBE, the founder of Airtopia, has shown a commitment to improving child health through this generous donation to the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) in its quest to combat indoor air pollution.

A businessman from Tring, Hertfordshire, David Evans has pledged to underwrite the working group’s fundraising efforts personally to £50,000 to ensure the project is fully funded. David was awarded his MBE in 2008 for services to corporate social responsibility; he was the first to receive the award for this single citation, and this donation is a continuation of his good work.

The effects of air pollution on children and young people can have lifelong health implications. There is growing evidence that exposure to air pollution in childhood is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory problems and cancer.

According to recent studies, more than an estimated two million healthy life years are being lost across the European Union (EU) annually due to indoor air pollution. In addition, outdoor and indoor air pollution have been directly linked with pneumonia and other respiratory diseases that account for almost one in 10 deaths in the under-five age group, making air pollution one of the leading dangers to children’s health.

David Evans met with RCPCH President, Professor Russell Viner, and Chief Executive, Jo Revill, yesterday at the College's office in London to formally present the donation.

On presenting the cheque, David Evans MBE, said: 

I founded Airtopia to raise public awareness of indoor air quality and educate people on how they can safeguard their health by improving their air. The illnesses caused by poor indoor air quality are self-inflicted wounds, which we can help prevent. We don't yet know the extent of the problem and how serious the impact could be on future generations.

That's why the research being done by the RCPCH and its working group is so critical. I'm proud to support their efforts and I believe the report they produce could have a significant impact on the health of the nation.

On receiving the cheque, Professor Russell Viner, RCPCH President, said:

Air pollution is one of the leading dangers to child health and whilst quite a lot is known about the risks of air pollution outside the home, more research is needed on the effects to child health indoors. David Evans’ generous donation will help us determine what these risks are and in turn will help the working group develop recommendations to overcome these challenges.

On behalf of the Indoor Air Pollution Working Group, I thank David Evans for his kind donation and as a result, look forward to seeing advancements in this area develop.

A report, due to be published by the working group in autumn 2019, will provide practical recommendations to policymakers and key stakeholders on what can be done to reduce indoor air pollution. This will include looking at approaches to improving indoor air quality such as adjusting ventilation, filtering air and controlling indoor sources of pollution. It is believed that such approaches could reduce the health risks to children and young people. 

The working group will:

  • review evidence of the causes and ways in which indoor air pollution in homes and schools adversely affects the health of children
  • produce a report that makes recommendations to influence the planning and building of new homes and schools in order to mitigate risk
  • highlight the potential contributions of climate change on indoor air pollution.

For more information, or for interviews with David Evans or a representative from the RCPCH, please contact us on

Update - 28 January 2020: The inside story: Health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people is now published.