Tens of thousands of London children ‘breathing in toxic air’

Tens of thousands of children in London’s schools are exposed to illegal levels of air pollution that can damage their health permanently, a study has found. Pupils at 802 of the capital’s schools, including a third of nurseries, are routinely breathing in toxic air that increases their chances of developing conditions such as asthma. The report also shows that London’s poor are far more likely to be living in areas affected by air pollution linked to 9,000 early deaths every year in the capital.

It is an outrage that more than 800 schools, nurseries and other educational facilities in the capital are in areas breaching legal air pollution limits.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

“We know air pollution is permanently affecting children’s lung development - resulting in smaller lungs for life. "I refuse to stand by when our children are being exposed to dangerously polluted air, putting them at greater risk of serious health conditions when we know it’s within our power to tackle the problem.” Among the measures he plans to introduce are air quality audits to help schools identify ways to protect their children from “filthy air”, much of which is come from traffic fumes. Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton are also planning to charge for the highest polluting vehicles to enter clean air zones.