On Clean Air Day 2021, new data was released which found that over 25% of UK schools are located in areas where air pollution limits are above World Health Organisation (WHO) air pollution limits for the pollutant PM2.5 (10ug/m3). This data collected is the most up to date sample of air pollution in schools across the UK and presents a concerning statistic.
PM2.5 (Particulate Matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less) is made up of minute particles that when present, can make their way from the lungs to blood and potentially cause conditions such as heart and lung disease. Studies have also shown that exposure to air pollution can contribute to a number of health issues including obesity in young adults by slowing metabolism and asthma.
The WHO’s Air Quality Guidelines offer global guidance on air pollution rates, identifying limits for key pollutants that present health risks. Worryingly, 98% of the 7852 nurseries, schools and sixth forms identified as being above the PM2.5 limit of 10ug/m3 are in England.
Toxic air starts affecting children in the womb, and when spending significant time at school in their early years, exposure to pollution can cause athsma, hinder lung development and can affect their ability to learn.
So, what can be done to help combat this issue? There is no overnight fix, but with the Government under pressure to reduce the amount of air pollution throughout the UK, we are starting to see small steps towards cleaner air in local areas. For instance, the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) in some major UK cities is a fantastic start towards cleaner air in schools, but so much more needs to be done to protect our children.
More research being done into the health effects of air pollution in schools can only be a good thing to support the fight for better air quality in schools but what about now? Research conducted at the Russell Scott Primary School in Greater Manchester found that the use of an air purifier can reduce indoor air pollution levels in the classroom by up to 30% which would allow a significant reduction in health risks associated with pollution in the classroom. Our Genano devices have achieved incredible results across Finnish and Swedish schools. Here in UK healthcare, laboratory cleanrooms and workplaces, we are proving time and time again that our devices can eliminate harmful particles, including PM2.5 from indoor air by 99.999%. We are working hard with the education sector to let us show how we can improve the indoor air also in UK schools
At KSG Health, clean air is our commitment and it is our mission to share the benefits of Genano Technology with the UK. If you would like to discuss how Genano devices can improve air quality at your school, get in touch!