Air pollution warning: Almost 8,000 schools in high pollution locations

More than 3.4 million UK children go to schools in areas where air pollution levels are above World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended limits.

Research published to coincide with Clean Air Day last week (June 17) shows that 27 per cent of UK schools – which equates to 7,852 nursery, primary, secondary and sixth form settings – are in high pollution areas. All but 160 of these schools are in England.

Clean Air Day is coordinated by the charity Global Action Plan and aims to raise understanding of air pollution and promote actions we can all take to improve the environment and protect our health.

The research data measures concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less).

PM2.5 is formed of tiny particles that can cross from the lungs into the blood and then move around the body causing conditions such as heart and lung disease. They come from various sources including exhaust fumes, agricultural emissions, and dust from car brake pads and as such are common near busy roads. The WHO’s Air Quality Guidelines recommend a pollution limit of 10ug/m3.

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