Green campaign group ClientEarth and the health charity British Lung Foundation have joined together to launch the Clean Air Parents’ Network – to promote air quality awareness among parents.
The launch of the campaign follows the latest High Court success from ClientEarth last week in seeking to hold the government to account over failure to meet targets for the emission of nitrogen dioxide pollution.
According to ClientEarth and British Lung Foundation, a majority of parents are keen to see ‘exclusion zones’ set up close to schools to prevent the spread of harmful air pollutants.
Polling carried out on behalf of the groups suggested that 60% of parents backed Traffic Exclusion Zones and 63% were in favour of banning the building of schools in areas of high air pollution.
The poll also revealed that 60% were worried about the effect that air pollution was having on their children’s health. And 70% were in favour of the government alerting schools on high pollution days and supplying guidance on how to protect children from air pollution.
Alison Cook, director of policy for the British Lung Foundation, said: “For parents, there is nothing worse than worrying about the health and wellbeing of your child. Yet in Britain we’ve reached a point where children are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution every day. This is simply unacceptable.
“Children’s lungs are far more vulnerable than adults, as they are still developing, and toxic air can stunt that growth. Children who grow up to have smaller lungs are likely to have significant health problems in later life, and therefore the negative health effects of dirty air on children need to be given far greater prominence. We urge all parents to join this network to help raise awareness and enact change.â€?
Through the Clean Air Parents’ Network, the two organisations are seeking to promote understanding of the key issues around air pollution and offer resources and support to parents get involved in campaigns aimed at tackling air pollution.
The network will also seek to promote the establishment of clean air zones in towns and cities.
ClientEarth senior campaigner Andrea Lee said: “It’s clear from these findings that parents are deeply worried about the air their children are breathing and want something done about it.
“The Clean Air Parents’ Network will help them start conversations and engage with local and national decision makers who have not just a moral but a legal duty to take urgent and bold action to tackle the illegal and harmful levels of air pollution that are putting their families’ health at risk.â€?
Clean Air Parents’ Network