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Redbridge pupils at three schools exposed to illegal levels of air pollution

PUBLISHED: 07:00 03 March 2017

Oakdale School is next to Charlie  Browns roundabout, the most polluted part of Redbridge.

Oakdale School is next to Charlie Browns roundabout, the most polluted part of Redbridge.

Archant

Hundreds of children in Redbridge are being exposed to levels of air pollution which could permanently damage their health.

At three schools in the borough, high levels of nitrogen dioxide have been recorded within 150 metres of their locations.

According to regulations set by the European Union, there should be no more 40 micrograms (mcg) of nitrogen dioxide per cubic metre of air.

St Joseph’s Convent School in Wanstead recorded 56.3, Oakdale Junior School, in South Woodford, recorded 42.7 and William Torbitt Primary School in Newbury Park recorded 41.8.

A further 15 schools are close to the legal limit, meaning pupils are routinely breathing in toxic air that increases their chances of developing conditions such as asthma.

The figures were revealed on Friday, in a study commissioned by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

He said: “It is an outrage that more than 800 schools, nurseries and other educational institutions are in areas breaching legal air pollution limits.

“This is an environmental challenge, a public health challenge but also – and no one talks about this – it is fundamentally an issue of social justice.”

In the borough, Cllr John Howard, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said the council are working very closely with the mayor’s office to reduce the high levels.

He said: “Many of the borough’s school’s are along major aterial roads and so we are working closely with the mayor’s office to see what we need to do to improve air quality.

“We are also keen to hear from members of the public as part of our revived air quality strategy, which includes a crackdown on idling drivers.”

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