The Guardian is reporting children at nearly 90 secondary schools in London breathe illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution, according to a report for the mayor.
Former mayor Boris Johnson was accused in May of burying a report that showed hundreds of primary schools were in areas that breached EU pollution limits in 2010, prompting calls for greater action to clean up the capital’s air.
But new research looking for the first time at which secondary schools in the capital are exposed to illegal levels of the toxic gas, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), has found Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Southwark are the boroughs with the highest number of secondaries in breach of the limits.
Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Lambeth had at least half a dozen or more secondary schools where pupils breathe air that breaches the limits. In total, 86 of the 100 secondary schools exposed to the highest NO2 levels in 2013 were above the annual mean limit of 40ug/m3 NO2.
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said: “These figures are of great concern and show why it is absolutely right we act now on London’s polluted air.”
Clearly not an unacceptable situation – but what can effectively be done? Is a larger ‘no emission zone’ needed, or extra protection around schools? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter ~ Jon
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