Television and radio broadcasters should provide pollution as well as weather forecasts to help tackle toxic air, according to the Mayor of London.
Sadiq Khan, who has made bringing down pollution in the capital one of his key priorities, has written to the BBC, ITV and LBC radio, calling on them to include air quality in daily news bulletins and weather reports.
About 9,000 Londoners and 40,000 people across the UK die earlier than they should because of harmful particles and gas in the air they breathe.
“Broadcasters have already done good work in highlighting the threat to public health posed by the capital’s filthy air and I’m keen to see them play more of a role in helping me empower Londoners to reduce their exposure to harmful pollution,” Khan said.
In the same week, he launched 50 air quality ‘audits’ of primary schools in the worst-polluted areas of the capital and environmental lawyers ClientEarth developed a tool to allow parents to check whether their child is attending a ‘poisoned playground’.
A YouGov poll commissioned by the charity revealed nearly 1,000 schools are next to or near roads with harmful levels of noxious traffic fumes and three quarters want to see extra measures put in place to protect children from noxious gases.
Air quality lawyer Alan Andrews said: “Thousands of children in this country are playing in playgrounds near illegally polluted roads. This is a legal and moral failing of our political leaders that puts children’s health at risk at a time when they are still growing and therefore vulnerable. Naturally, parents want something to be done. So do we.”