UNICEF UK calls for action to protect children from air pollution

12 February 2019

Article: 53/0607

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) UK has claimed that around a third of UK children are growing up in areas with unsafe levels of air pollution, and, without urgent intervention, toxic levels of air pollution are expected to persist for the next ten years.

The report, 'Healthy air for every child: a call for national action', calls on the UK government to set legally binding targets to meet the World Health Organization(WHO) recommended limit values for particulate matter (PM) across the UK by 2030 and take urgent action to meet existing targets on Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2). A commitment to the development of a cross-governmental healthy air for children action plan, setting out a national framework to protect children and young people from toxic air where they are most at risk, is also suggested as an action.  The report suggests a commitment to a Little Lungs Fund, providing ring-fenced funding to protect children and young people from toxic air.  This amounts to a minimum of £215 million in the first year and yearly replenishments until 2030, or for however long air pollution levels remain unhealthy.

Source: UK Health Alliance, 5 February 2019