Lowering air pollution could improve children’s learning: Lowering air pollution levels by 20% indoor and outdoor could boost a child’s ability to learn by one month annually.

As much as 2,000 schools and nurseries are near streets with air pollution above the standard level of nitrogen dioxide for outdoor air pollution, according to new developed research by the University of Manchester, Global Action Plan and the Philips Foundation.

That could mean that up to at least 500,000 children which are exposed to levels of pollution that could affect engaged memory.

By exploring ways at how air pollution and its effects on children can be halted in schools throughout the UK and Ireland, data of the year-long research, also exposes that the impact of air pollution is also felt at lower levels than the 40µg/m3 baseline.

This means additionally more thousands of students would benefit reducing pollution.

“I am doing everything in my power to stop Londoners breathing air so filthy that it damages children’s lungs and causes thousands of premature deaths. The Ultra-Low Emission Zone has already cut toxic air by a third and led to reductions in roadside nitrogen dioxide that are five times greater than the national average.” The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, stated.

“Studies that investigate the link between exposure to air pollution during early life and effects of educational attainment and brain health at later life are urgently needed and policies should be set out by ministers to tackle this urgent challenge, immediately.” Professor in Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Manchester, Martie van Tongeren, explained.

Chris Large, Co-Chief Executive Officer at Global Action Plan, expressed: “Given lockdown restrictions have already impeded learning time, we must give all children a fighting chance, especially those in pollution hotspots who are also likely to be victims of the attainment gap.”

Lowering air pollution could improve children’s learning

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