The Huffington Post reports that a poll conducted by YouGov for environmental lawyers ClientEarth, based on latest government figures, has revealed nearly 1,000 schools are next to or near roads with harmful levels of noxious traffic fumes.
The organisation has launched its own postcode tool through which parents can find out if their child’s school is one of those on the list.
ClientEarth air quality lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Thousands of children in this country are playing in playgrounds near illegally polluted roads. This is a legal and moral failing of our political leaders that puts children’s health at risk at a time when they are still growing and therefore vulnerable. Naturally, parents want something to be done. So do we.”
As part of the Poisoned Playgrounds campaign, a powerful video featuring young children from two schools playing while wearing gas masks has been released online. Billboard ads will also go up in some of the most polluted towns and cities across the country, with details of the number of schools in their area near illegally polluted roads.
Alyson Slorach, whose daughter Romilly suffers from asthma and attends one of the London schools involved in the video, said: “I am angry that despite the growing weight of data and public awareness of the problem, nothing effective is being done.
“Everyone expects their children’s school to be a safe place in which to learn and play. When break times and PE lessons pose a potential health hazard, action needs to be taken urgently.”
The YouGov poll also showed that the majority of adults in the UK thought the government was moving too slowly to clean up the country’s illegal air pollution, with 57% saying it wasn’t acting quickly enough.
Is your school in a ‘poisoned playground’ area? What is the school/local authority doing about it? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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