Breathe London Wearables Study
250 pupils took part in a study, funded by the Mayor of London, to investigate children’s exposure to air pollution on their journey to and from school. The pupils carried the specialist backpacks, which measured particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, for a week.
Data was analysed by scientists at Kings College London, it revealed:
• Pupils were exposed to on average five time higher concentrations of harmful NO2 pollution on the school run then when they are at school
• PM2.5 concentration were also higher during the journey to school
• For both NO2 and PM2.5 children who walked to school by backstreets were exposed to the lowest levels of pollution.
• The highest concentrations were recorded by children walking along main roads
• Pollution levels were higher in cars and buses than on back streets
• Parents who drive to school can contribute to high levels of air pollution on back streets as they tend to use these roads for school runs while leaving their car engines idling