Children exposed to a third more toxic car fumes than adultsWed, 04/07/2018
Michael Gove has claimed that recent figures regarding air pollution levels are “troubling” and that the government need to do something about it.
The RAC reports:
Young children are being exposed to almost a third more toxic car fumes than their parents, worrying new research suggests.
A study by environmental charity Global Action Plan revealed kids are at the greatest danger of inhaling lethal fumes — with children inside cars stuck in traffic jams at even greater risk.
Children walking to school were found to be more susceptible to inhaling the noxious fumes because they are shorter, and therefore closer to vehicle exhausts.
But taking the kids to school in the car doesn’t make it safer for children, as previous studies have shown pollution inside vehicles can be double the levels outside.
Kids walking to school along quieter streets with fewer petrol and diesel cars enjoy pollution levels that are 2.5 times lower.
The research was carried out across four major UK cities — Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and London — and looked at the impact that an individual’s height has on exposure to harmful particulate emissions.
The study focused on journeys to school, looking at the differences between adults and kids aged under 11.
Participants carried an air pollution monitor for 10 minutes while walking along a quiet route, a busy road, on a car journey through road traffic, and on a local bus.
Chris Large, spokesman for Global Action Plan, said: “Millions of children in the UK that are walking to school along busy roads are potentially being exposed to 30% more pollution than their parents.
“A simple solution for parents would be to choose quieter back routes to walk or cycle their children to school, away from the traffic, thereby reducing their exposure to unnecessarily high levels of damaging air pollution.”
In response to the study, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the figures are “troubling” and underlined why the Government needs to act on air pollution levels.
The Government published its Clean Growth Strategy last year, although it has previously been argued that stricter measures will need to be taken if the UK is to meet emission targets.
The Strategy outlines moves to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars by 2040.
Mr. Gove added: “Our new Clean Air Strategy sets out how we will be the first major developed economy to reduce air pollution in line with World Health Organisation limits and we have invested £3.5 billion to reduce harmful emissions.”
With children being exposed to a third more toxic fumes than adults, it’s no wonder they are being advised to walk down roads with less car traffic and to cycle to school instead of get lifts if possible.