ClientEarth claim: “Across the country, children are exposed to illegal and harmful levels of air pollution while on their way to and at school.
In the UK, pupils at almost 1,000 schools are exposed to NO2 levels that endanger their health and will shape their future wellbeing.
Traffic pollution contains nitrogen dioxide, NO2, as well as microscopic soot particles – known as “particulate matter” (PM) – which are known to be especially harmful to health. These can be inhaled deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
While the UK meets legal limits of PM these are more than double the recommended guideline levels by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
We need the UK government to take urgent action to meet legal limits of NO2 in the shortest time possible.
It also needs to take action to reduce levels of PM. It should adopt legal limits for PM that match the safer WHO guideline levels to better safeguard our health.
Our government is failing our children. But you can force it to act.”
The campaign has a video and a website where you can check the pollution levels near your childrens school.
You can go to https://www.clientearth.org/poisoned-playgrounds/#find-your-school and there you can search the map and click on the dot to find out your school’s pollution levels
The darker the dot, the higher the pollution level at your school
- The grey dots on this map show primary and secondary schools
- High levels of NO2 are harmful to health and can indicate that other types of toxic traffic pollution are present
- Studies have shown that the health of children living within 150 metres of illegally polluted roads can be affected by traffic-related air pollution
- Even if your school is further than 150 metres from an illegally polluted road, air pollution can still impact children’s health at or on their way to school
ClientEarth explains why it feels the Campaign is important: “Illegal and harmful levels of air pollution across the UK are taking a heavy toll on our health
Over certain levels, air pollution can be poisonous and prevent children’s lungs from growing to full size
Road transport is a major source of air pollution. Diesel vehicles are the main source of NO2, a harmful gas which is at illegal levels in many towns and cities”
They continue: “Pollution affects our health and the quality of our life on a daily basis. Breathing polluted air poses even more serious risks to children, older people and people with existing medical conditions.
It has been linked to premature births and children developing smaller lungs as they grow up in polluted areas.
It causes cancer. It can also trigger heart attacks and strokes. It aggravates breathing conditions, increasing the risk of asthma attacks leading to more hospital admissions.
There is also a growing body of research linking air pollution to other illnesses, including diabetes, developmental problems for children and suggested links to dementia.”
BMB says of the film: “Our film highlights the shocking impact that Britain’s toxic air can have on the health of children, by showing a not-too-distant future where children are forced to wear full military gas masks when they play outside.”