Policy Exchange - New report: Nearly a quarter of all school children in London are exposed to illegal and harmful levels of air pollution
Nearly 25% of all school children in London and 44% of the Capital’s workforce are exposed to levels of air pollution that exceed legal and healthy limits.
A new report, Up in the Air, by leading think tank Policy Exchange and King’s College London, analyses data from over 100 air quality monitoring sites across London. It shows the most polluted parts of the Capital currently have levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) nearly four times the legal limit. The research finds that 12.5% of the total area of the Capital currently exceeds the legal limit for NO2, and that deprived parts of London are more likely to be affected.
The report highlights some startling numbers:
- 328,000 school children and 3.8million workers in London are exposed to unhealthy levels of Nitrogen Dioxide which is linked to asthma and respiratory infections.
- 979 out of a total of 3,161 schools in London are over the limit for NO2. The data includes primary and secondary schools, including independent schools.
- Children attending schools in Inner London boroughs such as Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Camden are particularly at risk to harmful levels of NO2 pollution.
The report says that while many good initiatives have been put in place to combat poor air quality in the Capital, London’s air pollution problem is still far from being solved.
It puts the failure to control NO2 emissions down to the growth in the number of diesel vehicles, including buses, taxis and diesel cars.
- Diesel cars have systematically failed to match up to emissions standards due to illegal and legal cheating of emissions tests.
- The ongoing growth in decentralised energy across London could also pose a threat to air quality. Gas combustion in buildings could be responsible for 48% of NOx emissions by 2025 in Central London.
New analysis reveals that if improvements in NO2 levels are delivered in full by 2025, then this could lead to an improvement in life expectancy of around six months. However this is in doubt given the slow progress on NO2 pollution to date.
Richard Howard, author of the report, said:
“The case for tackling air pollution in London is clear. London’s air is unhealthy to breathe.”
“Children are particularly vulnerable to unsafe levels of air pollution. Our research highlights that nearly a quarter of all children in London attend schools which are exposed to illegal and unhealthy air pollution.”
“The Government and City Hall are responding to the challenge, but our analysis highlights how much further we need to go to improve the level of air quality in London.”
For further information contact Nick Faith on 07960 996 233
Latest News from
IPPR responds to the Sunday Times Tax List27/01/2023 16:25:00
Dr George Dibb, head of the Centre for Economic Justice at IPPR, responded to the latest Sunday Times Tax List
Government must move faster on economic reform, says IEA policy expert27/01/2023 15:25:00
Matthew Lesh, Head of Public Policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, commented on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s speech outlining the government’s economic priorities
IFS - Scottish Government faces major medium- and long-term budget challenges27/01/2023 14:25:00
New analysis by IFS researchers shows the stark funding challenges facing the Scottish Government, and the public services it is responsible for, over the next five years and beyond.
IFG - The government's NHS crisis response is likely too little and too late for this winter.27/01/2023 12:25:00
The government’s emergency measures to support the NHS will likely be too little and too late to solve this winter’s crisis, warns a new Institute for Government paper.
The King's Fund responds to the latest statistics from NHS Digital on the general practice26/01/2023 16:25:00
Beccy Baird, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund responds to the latest statistics from NHS Digital on the general practice workforce and general practice appointments
“Heart-breaking and wrong” that a million children under 4 growing up in poverty - JRF26/01/2023 15:25:00
Almost 3 in 10 children in families, where the youngest child is aged under five (28%) or primary school age between 5 and 10 years (29%), have experienced poverty and many will continue to experience hardship during the cost of living crisis.
IFS - The overall funding outlook26/01/2023 12:25:00
This chapter looks at the Scottish government's funding outlook in the short term (2022–23 and 2023–24), medium term (2024–25 to 2027–28) and beyond.
IPPR - State of the North: North of England experiencing lowest investment of advanced economies, but levelling up is possible26/01/2023 11:25:00
Major report shows that if the North were a country, it would be second only to Greece for the lowest levels of investment in the OECD
The King's Fund responds to the latest ONS mortality data25/01/2023 09:25:00
Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund commented on the Office of National Statistics (ONS) monthly mortality analysis December 2022