TWO hundred schools in London areas of high air pollution will put in place measures to protect pupils from toxic air, expanding ascheme launched by the Mayor.
Five of London’s most polluted boroughs – Newham, Islington, Southwark, Westminster and Brent – have committed to extend the Mayor’s air quality audit programme to help cut pollution in their schools.
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, commented the scheme: “In Newham we have one of the youngest populations in the country coupled with some of the worst air quality.
“According to Public Health England, Newham has one of the highest rates for deaths attributable to air quality with seven out of every 100 linked to dirty air – that’s 96 people dying prematurely each year.
“We also have the highest number of children admitted to hospital due to asthma-related conditions.
“That is why it is absolutely critical that we work together to tackle the pollution that threatens all our lives, particularly our children.
“Working together with the Mayor of London we have identified some our most affected schools and I’m delighted that we have been able to make these crucial changes at Salisbury school.
“But it’s not just about mitigating the worst effects of poor air quality, here in Newham we are funding an ambitious project called Newham Climate Now which over the coming months and years will clean our environment and tackle climate change, so that our future generations can grow up in a safer, cleaner and greener borough.”
Under the Mayor’s scheme, detailed air quality audits were carried out in 50 schools across 23 London boroughs.
The audits assessed the air quality in some of the capital’s worst polluted schools and made a series of recommendations to protect pupils.
As part of the programme the Mayor issued a £1 million fund which provided each of the 50 audited schools with a £10,000 starter grant and enabled any of the other London schools located in areas exceeding legal air pollution limits to apply for green infrastructure funding.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, spoke of the air pollution ambitions: “London’s toxic air is directly harming the health of our children.
“As Mayor, I’ve moved as fast as I can in London to implement the most ambitious plans to tackle air pollution of any major city in the world.
“This includes implementing the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, which has already reduced harmful nitrogen dioxide pollution by almost a third in central London zone.
“Government must follow London’s lead and help clean up filthy air across the country.
“A key part of this is legally binding targets in the upcoming Environment Bill to meet World Health Organization air quality guidelines by 2030.”