Pollution in London is becoming a real health hazard and it seems to be spreading to most areas of the capital. Even Notting Hill is now among the places to watch before it becomes heavily polluted; the signs are already indicating its vulnerability.

But a school has almost wiped out pollution in the classroom by fitting high tech air purifiers. Notting Hill Preparatory School, which is near a busy road with seven bus routes, installed the purifiers, resulting in a decrease of 86% in the level of soot particles associated with diesel engines, in three classrooms.

Long term exposure to the particles, known as PM25, is estimated to cost 29,000 premature deaths a year in Britain and children who inhale them are more likely to develop asthma.

Carol Armstrong, the school’s bursar, told the Evening Standard, ‘We were concerned about the high levels of pollution in London and wanted to do something to protect our pupils.’ She said that the school decided to install IQAir units because they could be set up with minimal disturbance. ‘The units offer all-important peace of mind for parents that their children are being looked after.’

Christian Lickfett, managing director of Commercial Air Filtration which installed the purifiers, said, ‘Air pollution in classrooms across the capital regularly exceeds the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines.’

AirVisual air quality monitors were also installed at the school. They use a laser sensor to measure PM25, carbon dioxide, humidity and temperature in real time.

The Mayor of London’s air quality fund is paying for audits of the air quality in fifty schools in London’s most polluted areas. Results are due to be published in March.

It’s high time. At least somebody is doing something about it at long last. It’s shameful that London is now one of the most polluted cities in Europe and we have the audacity to claim to be health conscious which is, in this case, a silly joke.

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