London schools funding for fresh air
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has pledged funding for the capital’s most polluted schools following research carried out by WSP.
In the foreword to the report on the research findings, the Mayor says: “Poor air quality is a major public health issue and cause of inequality in our city. It is shocking that in London alone, air pollution contributes to thousands of early deaths each year, and has been linked to strokes, heart attacks, asthma, dementia and smaller lungs in our children. We cannot allow this to continue.”
The Mayor’s school air quality audit programme checked 50 primary schools in the city’s most polluted areas. Primary school children are one of the most ‘at risk’ groups because of their developing lungs. In polluted areas of London, children’s lungs have up to 10% lower capacity than usual. Around 80% of primary schools above the legal limit for pollutants are in ‘deprived’ areas.
The audits made recommendations to reduce emissions and exposure to pollutants. These include moving school entrances and play areas away from busy roads as well as reducing other emissions.