Kennington school votes to give pupils pollution face masks

The BBC reports that governors at a south London primary school have voted to give pupils face masks to help protect them against pollution. There are 9,400 premature deaths a year in London linked to air pollution. 

Children who attend Archbishop Sumner School in Kennington will be given the devices for their journeys to school.

Chair of governors Adam Matthews called the measure “extreme” but necessary because pollution levels are “so bad”.

Nearly 450 schools in London have unsafe pollution levels, according to City Hall.

Other initiatives, such as investing in air pollution monitoring kits for different routes and encouraging parents to change their journey into school will also be introduced.

Mr Matthews, whose own children attend the school, said he did not want to make children wear the masks but “at the moment the diesel fumes are really impacting on kids’ lungs”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has previously announced that London’s most polluted schools are to receive “toxic air audits” to help protect students.

The jury is still out on whether pollution masks really work, with supporters claiming they can filter out some harmful toxins.

Detractors say their efficiency depends on how well the masks fit the wearer and the specific purpose they are being used for – as not all masks perform the same function.

Read more at Kennington school votes to give pupils pollution face masks

Is local pollution a concern for your school? Please comment here or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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