Ealing Transition hosted a lively and informative event on air quality on 3rd July entitled, ‘The Problem with our Air’, hearing from Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, whose campaigning led to the first recording of air pollution as a cause of death at an inquest, and whose TED talk can be seen here, Dr Ian Mudway, Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health, Imperial College London (presentation slides here 10MB) and Andrea Carnevali, local parent and clean air campaigner (slides here 4MB).
What emerged is that air pollution is dangerously high across London, it has significant effects on us all, but particularly on children’s development and very significant impacts on many aspects of our long term health, including heart disease, dementia and of course many lung conditions.
Our post talk discussion explored what we can do as a community to improve this hidden but deadly problem.
We agreed that while this issue needs to be addressed at a national and global level, supported by us all, there is also much we can do locally to make a difference.
We noted that there are existing regulations which are poorly enforced but which can make a direct impact on local pollution and raise awareness.
Install pollution monitors in all schools to give real-time daily information to all to raise awareness of air pollution.
Install pollution monitors along major roads (Uxbridge Road) and public areas to inform & warn.
Enforcement of ‘no-idling’ by enforcement officers
Enforcement of ‘no parking’ in cycle lanes to improve safety and attractiveness of cycling.
Establish traffic-free ‘School Streets’ for all schools with education campaigns and camera enforcement
Improvement of all schools’ outdoor environments to enhance environmental quality and health benefits.
How to achieve these actions?
Use access to pollution monitoring to raise awareness and prompt action
Request the Council use its powers to act effectively to bring in and enforce these actions
Ask questions directly on progress at Council meetings.
Join Mums for Lungs local campaigning (Mums for Lungs link is here)
Contact and work with school governors, parents and staff to address air pollution concerns, use school newsletters, events and practical steps.
Ensure support for cycling to school. Schools to access active travel help via https://stars.tfl.gov.uk/ & LB Ealing Schools Team.
Support schools in setting up ‘Environment Action Hubs’ in each school.
Connect schools via ActForEaling schools climate action hubs to gain support and resources (link here)