The Guardian is reporting that an air quality report that was not published by Boris Johnson while he was mayor of London demonstrates that 433 schools in the capital are located in areas that exceed EU limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution – and that four-fifths of those are in deprived areas.
The report, Analysing Air Pollution Exposure in London, said that in 2010, 433 of the city’s 1,777 primary schools were in areas where pollution breached the EU limits for NO2. Of those, 83% were considered deprived schools, with more than 40% of pupils on free school meals.
A spokeswoman for Johnson’s successor, Sadiq Khan, said the new mayor could not understand why the research had not been published when it was completed more than two-and-a-half years ago.
Khan’s spokeswoman said: “This shocking report reveals a snapshot of the true impact that our polluted air has on some of London’s most vulnerable communities. It is difficult to understand why the last mayoralty decided to cover it up and not fully release it in 2013 – they clearly didn’t want Londoners to know the dire state of pollution in the capital.
“The mayor is fully committed to cleaning up our air and protecting Londoners’ health and is shocked to learn that important scientific evidence like this have been locked and ignored at City Hall.”
The mayor now plans to officially publish the report.
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