My London: The horrific reason why London kids might be more forgetful and less able to learn than country children

There have been huge efforts in recent years to try to improve London’s often filthy air quality, but shockingly the vast majority of London’s school pupils are still in danger from toxic air.

Information released by the Mayor of London’s office shows that in London, the chemicals Nitrogen Dioxide (N02) and Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) are the main pollutants found in the air.

Exposure to NO2 can make breathing conditions, such as asthma worse, and has particularly bad effects on childhood development, especially the development of a child’s lungs.

Short and long-term exposure to PM 2.5 can also cause breathing and cardiovascular illness and even death. The UK Government’s Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution estimates that exposure to PM 2.5 contributes to 29,000 premature deaths in the UK each year.

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