The hole in the government’s air pollution plan

The government’s new air pollution strategy seems like a good start – apart from one thing. It doesn’t protect children.

In December 2015, the government announced a new air quality strategy.

It had mixed reviews. But in one area it seems everyone agrees – it doesn’t go far enough to protect children from air pollution.

Hundreds of parents told us they want to see more action to tackle air pollution around schools in a recent survey. They signed up to our clean air campaign, and with good reason. Air pollution is bad for growing lungs. It affects healthy children and kids with existing lung conditions alike.

So, when the government announced new ‘Clean Air Zones’ and more green buses, it was a good first step. But it’s done nothing to protect children.

London’s schools and air pollution

328,000 school children in London are exposed to unhealthy levels of pollution. This is all detailed in a recent report (PDF). Under new rules, London is set to have an ‘ultra low emissions zone’ but this hardly includes any schools.

And what’s more, this won’t happen until 2020. By then, many of today’s school children will be looking for their first job!

This isn’t just a London issue either. It’s a problem across the whole country.

That’s why we’re calling for pollution monitoring in every school in the UK – with action to tackle pollution wherever it’s needed.

It’s time to take action

People living with lung conditions can be very sensitive to pollution in the air, so it’s crucial that we do something to improve air quality.

But instead of getting better, the situation is getting worse – in January 2016, newspapers reported that London had breached its entire annual allotment for air pollution in just 8 days!

And that’s not all – MPs have said that they think air pollution is a huge problem. Studies show it’s the biggest danger to public health, after smoking.

That’s why we’re running our air pollution campaign. We have to explain to MPs that air quality needs to come higher on their list of priorities.

Help us make a difference in the future – sign up to support our campaign.


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9 February 2016