Planners should be ashamed over Purley Way’s air pollution

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Our coverage of the planning permission granted to a Harris Federation primary school beside the A23 Purley Way has drawn widespread condemnation from readers. Here, CONNIE MINTON vents her feelings about the long-term health dangers of air pollution

traffic congestionThis planning decision by our council is shameful on many levels. The environmental department, children’s services, transport and public health departments at Croydon Council can collectively hang their heads in shame for selling out.

We already know that particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution is becoming a leading cause of heart disease, lung disease and cancer in adults.

But children are disproportionately affected by pollution. Their metabolism is higher, they spend more time outdoors, they are the right height to breathe in pollution from cars, and the damage is life long.

In the womb, pollution from vehicle exhausts is linked to neuro-behavioural disorders, in children it is a recognised cause of neurological and respiratory disease and has been shown to stunt children’s lung growth by around 10 per cent.

Croydon Council is not only ignoring this compelling evidence, they are also ignoring the evidence on growing obesity and lack of physical activity in children – walking along a polluted and busy road is not going to be a major incentive for people to walk or cycle to school.

Pollution is greatest inside cars, second greatest at the kerbside, and only reduces with increasing distance from exhausts.

Therefore, driving children to school is not going to “hermetically seal” them from pollution, but expose them to it the most.

And don’t even get me started on air circulation systems in sealed off buildings…

The air quality monitor on Purley Way

The air quality monitor on Purley Way

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5 Responses to Planners should be ashamed over Purley Way’s air pollution

  1. dieseltaylor says:

    Connie Minton has quite rightly highlighted the idiocy of placing a school adjacent to a very busy road. To compound the problem being a primary school we can easily anticipate that babies in buggies will accompany parents bringing their children to the site. It is scandalous.

  2. The decision to build a school on Purley Way can only have been taken by councillors who had abandoned their brains on the municipal coat rack before going to the planning meeting. Connie Milton has flagged up with painful accuracy the potential to harm the children, their siblings and parents in the new school. It is evident to anyone (except a councillor) that building a school there, just like the new one in ridiculous premises just off South End, is impractical, illogical and potentially harmful to everyone, including staff. Shame.

  3. I believe that the local Waddon Labour Councillors objected to the proposal but the school still got planning permission from the Labour clowns on the planning committee who live nowhere near the proposed school site. Wonder how many of the Planning Committee Members will be sending their children to this new school for a generous dose of toxic air when its built?

  4. It takes a long time to get “fresh” concepts accepted…so another “start”

    B)The particular importance, distribution and effects of nano particles:

    Routes to all organs of the body are provided by direct nanoparticle entry into the bloodstream and by their effects on the cell mediators of inflammation within the lungs

    BENZENE LEVELS,DIESEL and the AHR (Aryl hydrocarbon) receptor
    Studied very intensively after the Agent Orange disaster in Vietnam.
    Benzene linked to leukaemias,diesel linked by WHO to cancers definitively last year,cell surface receptor provides DIRECT LINK TO CELLULAR DNA,immune system and hormones:

  5. conniminion says:

    Regarding air quality in hermetically sealed buildings: Indoor Air Quality by Walsh et al outlines the problems investigated mainly in the US and Canada, where these buildings have been around for longer. Mucous membrane irritation, headache, fatigue, inability to tolerate contact lenses, irritation to nose and throat, exacerbation of hypersensitivity such as asthma, pneumonitis or rhinitis. Without a demonstration of particular quantities of chemicals or clearly identified causative chemical agents for these problems they continue to be ignored despite mounting evidence of its link to building ventilation. So we’ll have our children driven to school in polluted air or walk through polluted air in order to sit in differently polluted air and we expect them to live up to their full potential and learn in a nurturing environment. How did it come to this?

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