With air pollution on the rise in London, some schools are taking steps to protect children from breathing harmful chemicals. According to research conducted by City Hall in London, over 400 schools are impacted by unsafe levels of pollution. In fact, the Guardian recently reported that London overstepped their “annual air pollution limits” for the whole of 2017 within five days. In response to the potential danger of breathing this air pollution, the Chair of Governors at Archbishop Sumner school suggested giving students face masks. In response to this proposal, other governors have voted to instead hold an informational seminar for parents and allow them to decide their course of action.
Some parents of children at Lambeth school would prefer not to have their kids wear face masks. However, they understand that the current pollution conditions are making the air harmful to breath. Some children are also concerned that wearing the masks will make them look odd. After much discussion, the governors decided to hold an informational seminar for the parents. The school will hire experts to provide parents with information on face masks and the harm of air pollution. In addition to the presentation, Lambeth school has agreed to put forth effort into reducing the pollution issue. They will work with the Mayor’s office to monitor roads leading to school to help give parents accurate information about pollution levels. Lambeth has also said they will support the Carnival for Clean Air in Kennington.
The threat of pollution for London schools is so high that Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that “toxic air audits” would be conducted with the most polluted schools. However, there is still a large debate surrounding the effectiveness of face masks. Some critics argue that there is not enough evidence to support the claim that the masks help to filter out harmful chemicals. Many also claim that the effectiveness of such masks greatly depends on the what kind of chemicals they are designed to filter. Regardless, public officials and school workers alike have agreed that the air pollution problem in London is an issue that requires action and attention. Lambeth, along with many other schools, will be making efforts to protect children from breathing harmful chemicals.