With poor air quality, parts of Croydon are among the worst places in London for cases of asthma, By PAUL LUSHION, environment correspondent
In one of those idle moments, when you are sitting in your car in traffic with the engine running, have you considered the damage you might be doing to the environment, or children’s lungs?
Croydon Friends of the Earth have launched a Clean Air for Kids campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the impact of exhaust emissions on young lungs.
“Air pollution affects us all and is one of the UK’s biggest killers causing up to 36,000 early deaths every year,” said Leonie Osborne, the chair of Croydon FoE.
“Dirty air leads to worsening asthma symptoms and, according to Asthma UK, Croydon appears to be the worst place in London to have asthma.”
South Norwood, where the Clean Air for Kids campaign was launched, is typical of many parts of Croydon where air pollution builds in rush hour from engines idling while drivers queue at traffic lights and road works.
According to Croydon FoE, it is at times of the day when levels of the silent invisible killer nitrogen dioxide are highest – the morning and evening rush hours – it is young people who suffer most as they walk to and from their schools along narrow pavements, right next to queuing traffic.
Friends of the Earth are not just raising awareness of the impact of exhaust emissions, they are urging drivers to cut their emissions by switching off their engines at lights, in traffic jams or while waiting for more than 10 seconds.
“The lockdown has highlighted the fact that we all want the same thing – to enjoy fresh clean air and green spaces where children can play and where we can exercise and connect with nature,” Osborne said.
“Walk to School Week has highlighted the need for children to able to travel safely and healthily to school. So let’s stop idling, reduce carbon emissions and save lives!”
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