Air Quality, a main factor when choosing School for Childrenby Shruthi Venkatesh November 19 2018, 8:00 pm Estimated Reading Time: 3 mins, 11 secs
An increasing number of parents avoid good schools because of the local air quality while some are even looking to move out of cities altogether as fears over the consequences of diesel emissions on wellbeing mount.
A major study published in Lancet, discovered that pollutants from diesel automobiles was inhibiting the growth of children’s lungs and leaving them impaired for life. The analysis conducted with more than 2,000 school children in London, was the first such study in a city where diesel pollution is a significant factor, and has implications for cities around the world.
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“It found that children lost about 5% of their lung capability,” stated Sarah Macfadyen, head of coverage and public affairs at British Lung Basis, which, at the side of the environmental regulation crew, has established the Clean Air Parents’ Network, a marketing campaign crew calling on politicians to make stronger air high quality in cities and towns. “That’s one thing they gained to get again,” she stated. “One thing that all through their lives will put them prone to infections and respiring issues, all as a result of the air that they have been respiring to and from college, to the park, simply normally being out and about with their households.”
Emerging data, including discussions in online forums suggests that concerns among parents are becoming so prevalent that many now consider pollution as the main factor when choosing a school, but increasing number are avoiding urban environments altogether.
“It is incredible that in 21st-century Britain parents are having to think about moving their families to escape illegally polluted air which is harming their children,” stated Andrea Lee, senior campaigner at Client Earth. “This is what happens when you have a government unwilling to commit the resources and political will to clean up what has become a public health crisis.”
In a survey by Mumsnet, UK’s biggest network for parents, a mom defined that she and her husband have been taking a look to send their kid to one of two private colleges in south-west London, one of which took 12 mins to make it in through bus and the other 45 mins. Though the family was interested in the nearer one, however were considering against because of the local pollution levels.
India is no such exception. Deepikah Rahul Bhardwaj, a 33 year old designer and multidisciplinary artist tells the Economic Times, “I can breathe now,” taking in the air of Taleigao in Goa. In May 2017, she left Delhi with her one-year old son after living through dreadful winter in the capital when the air turned into a grey, pollutant-heavy blanket. She suffers from chronic bronchitis and the attacks became more frequent and severe in winter. She worried for her child, too, when she saw her friends’ kids getting hospitalised with respiratory ailments. That was not a future she wished for her young boy. “The winter of 2016-17 saw air quality index as in Delhi shooting past 1,000. For the past five years, we had seen winter going from bad to worse” she says. Moving out of Delhi was the only option as the government was taking no significant steps to make the situation better in the long term,” she recalls.
Environmental experts warn that migration may not be the best option as many other cities are fast catching up with Delhi NCR on bad AQI. “Awareness about air quality is increasing. Citizens should now fight for clean air and put pressure on government for better systems to tackle pollution. That's the way forward, not running away,” says Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment.