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Every new school being built in England is in unsafe air pollution area, study says

Analysis finds almost nine in 10 planned new school sites exceed three WHO targets – and all breach at least one of them.

An analysis has found that almost nine in 10 planned new school sites exceed three World Health Organization (WHO) targets on major air pollutants. And every single one of the schools breaches at least one of the guidelines. The study, published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, suggests thousands of children enrolling at the new schools face a major threat to their health because of their greater susceptibility to the effects of air pollution.

Researchers identified 187 new schools to be built between 2017 and 2025 in England, and sites for 147 of these schools were acquired. They assessed air quality at those sites against the WHO air quality targets for PM2.5, PM10 and NO2, as well as against pollution levels across the UK. The analysis found that 86% (126 out of 147) of the sites exceeded all three of the WHO targets, and every school location exceeded at least one. Average readings of PM2.5 across all the sites were more than double those recommended by the WHO, the study found.

Original Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2024/mar/19/every-new-school-being-built-in-england-is-in-unsafe-air-pollution-area-study-says