Monday June 24, 2019

Children at 800 Schools, Nurseries and Colleges in London being exposed to illegal levels of Air Pollution: Report

The study, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, suggests thousands more children and young people are at risk from toxic air than previously thought

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School children, Wikimedia

London, Feb 25, 2017:  Tens of thousands of children at over 800 schools, nurseries and colleges in London are being exposed to illegal levels of air pollution that risk causing lifelong health problems, a media report said on Saturday.

A study identified 802 educational institutions where pupils as young as three are being exposed to levels of nitrogen dioxide that breach European Union (EU) legal limits and which the government accepts are harmful to health, the Guardian said in the report.

The study, commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, suggests thousands more children and young people are at risk from toxic air than previously thought.

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Khan said the results were devastating and warned that it was the capital’s poorest children who were bearing the brunt of the air pollution crisis.

“It is an outrage that more than 800 schools, nurseries and other educational institutions are in areas breaching legal air pollution limits,” he said.

“This is an environmental challenge, a public health challenge but also – and no one talks about this – it is fundamentally an issue of social justice. If you are a poor Londoner you are more likely to suffer from illegal air.”

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Khan called for the government to introduce a clean air act and for a diesel scrappage scheme to take polluting cars off the road quickly, the Guardian report added.

The study shows 802 out of 3,261 nurseries, primary and secondary schools and higher education colleges, are within 150 metres of nitrogen dioxide pollution levels that exceed the EU legal limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

A third of state nursery schools in the capital (27), nearly 20 per cent of primaries (360) and 18 per cent of secondary schools (79) are in areas where toxic levels of nitrogen dioxide threaten children’s health.

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Of the further education colleges in the capital, 43 per cent (30) were in areas of illegally toxic levels of nitrogen dioxide.

The study, based on modelling of data from 2013, was carried out by experts from the environmental research group at King’s College London and Aether, the environmental data analysts. (IANS)

Next Story

Airborne Metal Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Premature Death in Humans: Study

"Our results indicate that the metals present in the airborne particulate matter could be a key component in the effects of air pollution on mortality", Jacquemin explained

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metal pollution
The scientists constructed a mathematical model which was then used to map the exposure of each participant to the metals under study. Pixabay

Airborne metal pollution is associated with an increased risk of premature death in humans, according to a study. The researchers used wild moss samples to estimate human exposure to airborne metal particles in order to analyse the relationship between atmospheric metal pollution and risk of mortality.

The study, published in the journal Environment International, included data from 11,382 participants living in rural areas throughout France. “There have been very few studies on the health effects of airborne metal pollutants, partly because of technical limitations, such as the lack of stations measuring air pollution,” said Bendicte Jacquemin from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

“We thought that moss, because of its capacity to retain these metals, would be a useful tool for estimating the atmospheric metal exposure of people living in rural areas,” Jacquemin added.

metal pollution
The final analysis showed that participants exposed to higher atmospheric concentrations of metals of anthropogenic origin had an increased risk of death. Pixabay

The scientists constructed a mathematical model which was then used to map the exposure of each participant to the metals under study. The metals were classified into two groups, according to whether their origin was considered natural or anthropogenic.

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The final analysis showed that participants exposed to higher atmospheric concentrations of metals of anthropogenic origin had an increased risk of death.
“Our results indicate that the metals present in the airborne particulate matter could be a key component in the effects of air pollution on mortality”, Jacquemin explained.

“This means that they are very likely to be exposed to lower levels of air pollution than people living in urban environments, which gives us an idea of the seriousness of the health effects of air pollution, even at relatively low levels of exposure,” she stressed. (IANS)