School children in Hackney highlight traffic pollution and personal exposure advice in song produced by the I Like Clean Air group
Campaigners have produced a song in which Hackney school children rap about air pollution in London and highlight dangers to health posed by diesel fumes.
In the song, children from local primary schools Gayhurst, Betty Layward, Lauriston and London Fields advise listeners close to main roads to “shut your windowsâ€? and boasts a chorus in which the children sing that “we just need to breatheâ€?.
Campaign group I Like Clean Air said that song, free to listen to and share online, had been launched after “weeks of auditions and rehearsalsâ€?.
Highlighting the impact of motor transport on the capital’s air quality, the children sing: “The city gets busy and we’re all getting dizzy from the buses and the cars going past.â€?
The song also offers advice to Londoners about ways of reducing personal exposure to air pollution, with the children rapping that the “Traffic is so bad, let’s take a detour to the back roads where we can breathe moreâ€?.
It was launched by Hackney-based I Like Clean Air group, which was set up by five mothers in London with the aim of lobbying the Mayor Boris Johnson to take a tougher stance on air pollution.
A petition launched by the group in February 2015 called on the Mayor to “reduce air pollution in inner London boroughs on the streets around our homes and schools with an ambitious and far-reaching scheme just as he has proposed for the Congestion Charge Zoneâ€? and has now attracted more than 200 signatures.
The groups describes itself as ‘Kids and parents in London worried about air pollution’ and states that emissions from diesel vehicles ‘are causing us big problems’, highlighting studies which have shown that children exposed to diesel fumes ‘grow up with smaller lungs and reduced lung function’.
In December 2014, the group published results from its own ‘citizen science’ air quality monitoring in Hackney, which found that 26 of the 55 locations they tested breached UK limits and those set out in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines for nitrogen dioxide and air pollution (see airqualitynews.com story).
The song can be heard below: