Filthy Air poses Biggest Risk to Poor Families
Joe Murphy, Political Editor, Evening Standard
THE poorest Greater London families are most at risk from the "invisible killer" of air pollution, a new report reveals.
Children living in areas blighted by high levels of toxic particles are 50 per cent more likely to be receiving free school meals, while their parents are 25 per cent more likely to rely on income support.
A total of 320,000 Children go to School near roads that carry more than 10,000 vehicles a day, the level thought to worsen asthma attacks, said the Policy Exchange think tank. Tottenham Court Road and Heathway in Barking were named among streets with the worst air quality. Marking 60 years since the "Great Smog" of 1952 that killed 4,000 Londoners, the study said a similar number now die early each year, and 29,000 people nationwide, because of air pollution. Author Simon Moore said the public health problem was second only to smoking.
The biggest sources of high levels of fine particulates in the Capital are Black Cabs and London Buses. The report said Mayor Boris Johnson's programme of Bus replacement was too slow, and the focus should switch to retro-fitting anti-pollution devices on older Buses.