Millions of UK children ‘living with illegally high levels of air pollution,' new research finds

Posted On: 
27th December 2017

Over 6 million children are living in areas of the UK where pollution levels have breached legal limits, according to new research. 

London's air quality is the worst in the UK, with 100% of it's children living with illegally high levels of pollution
Credit: 
PA

The analysis, done by the House of Commons library, found that in 2015 6.6m under-16s were exposed to illegally dirty air, including 3m under-7s and over 300,000 under-1s.

The figures show that London is the worst area of the country for air quality, with 100% of children in the Capital living with illegally harmful levels of pollution.

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Elsewhere, Yorkshire and the Humber had the second highest percentage of under-16s affected (84 per cent), followed by the North East (76 per cent), North West (72 per cent) and the West Midlands (71 per cent).  

Shadow Environment Secretary, Sue Hayman said: “With the majority of our young people now growing up in areas that breach air quality limits it’s clear the UK is in the middle of a dirty air emergency.

“Dirty air is a clear and present health hazard; it can take years off a person’s life.

“Cleaning up our air should be a national priority, unfortunately this Tory Government – which once promised to be the “greenest ever” – has failed do anything, overseeing a shameful situation.

“We need to act, to protect the health of all our children and the wellbeing of the country.

“That’s why Labour has promised a new Clear Air Act to get a grip on pollution before it’s too late.”

The warning comes after previous analysis by Labour found that 38m people across the UK were living in areas where air quality breached legal limits.