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Comment - Local Stuff

Air pollution by David Flint

Though Enfield's air is amongst the least polluted in London that isn't saying much. The air in 77% of our streets has more nitrogen dioxide than the European legal limit. Jenny Jones has produced an interactive map which shows which schools experience air that is significantly polluted by road traffic. The map shows 35 Enfield schools, including Enfield Grammar, Kingsmead, Edmonton County and Brettenham.

It's interesting, though hardly surprising, that the only large area without polluted schools is the leafy suburb bounded by the A110, Green Lanes and the Piccadilly line.

Truly, "to him that hath it shall be given".

Jenny writes: " Research by the Campaign for Clean Air found that 1,148 schools in London are within 150 metres of roads carrying 10,000 or more vehicles per day, and a total of 2,270 schools are within 400 metres of such roads.

I have estimated, based on the Mayor's projections for pollution levels, that in 2020 there will still be 928 schools near polluted roads. That means that many children will go the whole way through primary school near polluted roads.

Scientific research (Summary report of the Aphekom project, 2008-2011) indicates that children exposed to higher levels of traffic-related air pollution at school and home may be at increased risk of developing asthma; "living near roads travelled by 10,000 or more vehicles per day could be responsible for some 15-30 per cent of all new cases of asthma in children; and of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and CHD (coronary heart disease) in adults 65 years of age and older".

First published in the EGP members newsletter, October 2013

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ