MPs are calling for a ban on new schools near major roads and for air filtering systems to be fitted in classrooms to protect pupils and their teachers. Air pollution contributes to 29,000 deaths a year in the UK and young people are at risk of lung damage from the nitrogen dioxide produced by motor engines, according to a report from the Environmental Audit Committee.
MPs on the Select Committee are calling for a ban on building schools, hospitals and care homes near air pollution blackspots, to help cut thousands of deaths from traffic fumes – the “invisible killer”. They also want air filtration systems to be fitted in over a thousand schools are only 150 metres away from major roads, to protect staff and pupils from car exhaust fumes, the Independent reports.
The MPs have criticised the government for failing to act on earlier warnings from their committee about the dangers from air pollution and claim that a generation is at risk of having its health “seriously impaired” as a result. “Protecting children and vulnerable people in the worst affected areas must be made a priority by government and local authorities,” said Labour MP Joan Walley, who chairs the committee. “New figures suggest air pollution from heavy traffic could be killing almost the same amount of people as smoking in the UK, yet the government seems unwilling to put saving lives before economic growth.”
Is your school near a major road and if so do you worry about the danger of air pollution to your, and your pupils’, health?