Laura Sharman 11 February 2020

Air pollution stopping children reaching sporting potential, report warns

More than a quarter of children’s sports grounds have dangerous levels of air pollution, a new report has found.

Campaigners Air Team analysed 94 sites in five UK cities. It discovered that 26 of the sites breached safety guidelines set out by the World Health Organization, while 52 came close to the threshold.

The group is calling for all major cities to have clean air zones and for the Government to adopt stricter air quality levels.

It says this would help reverse the damage already done to children’s lungs and remove the barriers preventing them from reaching their sporting potential.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the report reinforces the need for local powers to tackle air pollution.

Cllr David Renard, the LGA’s environment spokesman, said: 'This report highlights the air pollution emergency we are facing and reinforces the critical need for councils to be able to build on their key role in tackling air pollution. Many have already introduced a range of measures to tackle air pollution, such as Clean Air Zones, encouraging the use of electric vehicles with recharging points and promoting cycling.

'Councils want to work with the Government to reduce the impact of harmful emissions on the health of our communities, but for air quality plans to be successful, they need to be underpinned by local flexibility and sufficient funding.'

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