Not a single one of Lewisham’s 98 schools has met the interim WHO guidelines for air pollution.

A report published by the mayor of London’s environment team on February 17 shows pollution levels surrounding each of the borough’s schools exceed the 10µg/m3 for PM2.5 guideline.

The borough’s two listed nurseries, Chelwood nursery school and Clyde nursery school, also fell short of WHO’s guidelines.

A concentration of 11 or more PM was recorded at 22 schools.

Two Deptford schools - Grinling Gibbons primary school on Clyde Street and Marathon Science School on Evelyn Street - have an average of 11.4 PM.

A PM of 11.2 was recorded at Goldsmiths university on New Cross Road.

The lowest PM readings captured at any of the borough’s schools was 10.2 PM, a concentration recorded at Haberdashers' Aske's Knights Academy on Launcelot Road in Bromley, Marvels Lane Primary School on Riddons Road in Lewisham east and Sedgehill Academy on the borders of Bromley and Lewisham.

Figures have been released in the hopes of helping health professionals tackle air pollution at a local level.

The full list of figures concerning Lewisham's air quality can be viewed here. 

Particulate Matter (PM) is an air pollution indicator composed mainly of sulphate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust and water.

It affects more people than any other pollutant and the World Health Organisation notes it “consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air”.

The mayor of London’s document outlines that air pollution is “a major cause of premature death and disease” and “the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK”.

Suggestions for mitigating air pollution include walking and cycling rather than driving, installing home energy efficiency measures and not burning garden and household waste.

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