Cleaner air for 200 schools is welcome news

Thousands of children are set to benefit from cleaner air as the Mayor of London pledges to install new air filters across 200 schools this spring.

Sadiq Khan has pledged £2.7million of extra funding to fit PM2.5 air filters in an initial rollout in May, with the potential to expand the project to include every school in the capital if successful.

Breathing in unhealthy levels of PM2.5 – fine particulates caused by traffic pollution – can stunt the growth of children’s lungs and increase the risk of health problems like heart disease and asthma.

The move comes following London Assembly Member Len Duvall’s calls for cleaner air in schools alongside clean air campaigners including Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation and Catherine Sutton chief executive of Airborne Allergy Action CIC.

Data from last year showed that almost 90,000 children are now breathing cleaner air at school due to the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

Mr Duvall, Ms Kissi-Debrah and Ms Sutton previously wrote to Lewisham and Greenwich councils to raise the issue of pollutants in schools and to advocate for stricter measures to be put in place to reduce particulate matter in the air.

Mr Duvall said:“We know that children are at risk from poor air quality and we have to do everything we can to protect them.

“These new filters will have a positive impact on children across London, especially those in more deprived areas.”

Pictured top: Rosamund Kissi-Debrah, founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, whose campaigning has led to the new funding for filters to be rolled out across London (Picture: Richard Maidment)

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