London parents see toxic air as ‘the biggest health threat to their children’ 

Mothers revealed their fear over toxic air in London today with seven out of 10 admitting they worry about its impact on their children.

A YouGov poll found that parents in the capital now see air pollution as the biggest health threat.

The stark findings are published as the Standard launches Clean London — a series of hard-hitting reports on dirty air and ways to tackle it.

Experts now blame air pollution for a death toll of more than 9,000 a year in the capital.

The survey, commissioned by environmental lawyers ClientEarth, shows 68 per cent of London parents are worried about their children breathing in dirty air.

More women than men highlighted their fears — 71 per cent against 64 per cent. Mothers have told of their concern that as they push buggies along the street, their young children are sitting at the same level as filthy fumes being spewed out by many diesel cars and other vehicles.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 09.16.32

Scientists have also warned that the lungs of some children are being damaged by air pollution — which in the capital is in breach of EU rules.

In inner London, where pollution peaks are at times among the worst in Europe, 32 per cent of parents are “very worried” about their children breathing dirty air and 43 per cent “fairly worried”.

In the outer city, 25 per cent are “very worried” and 40 per cent “fairly worried”.

ClientEarth has won a Supreme Court battle forcing ministers to redraw plans to cut air pollution.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 09.17.23

Its chief executive, James Thornton, said it was “no surprise” that parents were so concerned given the health impacts on children living in the capital and going to schools near main roads.

“They have to endure the terrible effects of air pollution across the city year after year, with woeful action from the Government,” he added. The survey also found that 43 per cent of parents rank air pollution as one of the two biggest health threat facing the capital today.

This was followed by stress (29 per cent), poor diet (23) and not doing enough exercise (21).

Drug use came next, on 17 per cent, then alcohol (16), smoking (13) and unprotected sex (four). Wealthier people and those living in inner London were more likely to put air pollution at the top of their public health risks.

Green Party mayoral candidate Sian Berry said that Londoners’ “trust is running out”, with many mothers of young children now “worried sick”, as more information has been revealed about filthy air.

“It’s a terrifying problem, because unlike the deadly smogs that came from coal fires and power stations until the Clean Air Act banished them, we can’t see this modern pollution,” she added.

Labour claims 500,000 people have died due to the failure to meet EU air quality regulations. Sadiq Khan, the party’s candidate for mayor, blamed his adult-onset asthma on dirty air. “I worry about the impact on my daughters’ health,” he added.

His Tory mayoral rival Zac Goldsmith called for the whole of Greater London to be made a pollution-free area, stressing: “We have the technology and most of the tools to achieve that.”

Liberal Democrat candidate Caroline Pidgeon said: “The time for excuses for a lack of real action on air pollution has long passed. Children’s lives are at stake.”

Boris Johnson has taken a series of steps to tackle air pollution, including getting the dirtiest buses and taxis off the road and promising to implement an ultra-low emission zone by 2020.

A City Hall spokeswoman added: “Air quality in London is improving but more needs to be done and this is why we need to see more of the bold measures implemented by the Mayor.”

A spokesman for the Department for Environment said: “Our plans clearly set out how we will improve the UK’s air quality through a new programme of clean air zones, which alongside national action and continued investment in clean technologies will create cleaner, healthier air for all.”

YouGov polled 1,015 parents of children aged 18 and under between March 7 and 14.

Source: London parents see toxic air as ‘the biggest health threat to their children’ | London | News | London Evening Standard

About Respro® UK Ltd

Respro® Masks: Cycle masks, motorcycle masks and allergy masks. External wear for internal protection.
This entry was posted in Air Quality, Europe, London, UK and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s