23,700 children in Lambeth attended schools where nitrogen dioxide levels were above the annual permitted levels by the EU, a report has revealed.
Research found that children are particularly vulnerable to unsafe levels of air pollution “partly due to higher exposure, and partly due to children being more susceptible to the effects of air pollution”, the report says.
High levels of NO2 causes lung irritation, increases the chance of respiratory infections and long term exposure has been linked to premature death.
Up in the Air, by Policy Exchange’s Capital City Foundation and King’s College London, analysed data from over 100 air quality monitoring sites across London.
The study also found that nearly 200,000 people are employed in parts of Lambeth that breach EU limits. The reports puts the failure to control NO2 emissions in London down to the growth in the number of diesel vehicles, including buses, taxis and diesel cars.
In January this year, diesel fume pollution in Brixton Road breached the legal limit for the whole of 2015 within a week. The road is one of the most polluted streets in Britain.
Lambeth council’s cabinet member for environment and sustainability Jennifer Brathwaite has challenged London mayor Boris Johnson over promises of a greener fleet of buses and leading civil rights lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn is now seeking ways to challenge pollution on the Brixton Road in court.