Sunday, 13 April 2014

7000 children at high risk of asthma in Maidstone and 75 people died due to traffic

75 people died in 2010 and almost 7000 pupils are at high risk of lung disease. 12 schools are close to roads that carry over 10,000 vehicles per day based on research by Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the South East. Research has also shown that living near heavy traffic points can be attributed to 15-30% of new asthma cases in children as well as affecting the development of lung capacity.

School Name Number of pupils
Loose Infant School 271
Loose Junior School 362
Brunswick House Primary School 420
St Michaels CEI School, Maidstone 120
Maplesden Noakes School, The 1060
Maidstone Grammar School 1273
East Borough Primary School 426
St Michaels CEJ School, Maidstone 162
Maidstone Grammar School for Girls 1265
Invicta Grammar School 1220
South Borough Primary School 227
Total: 6806

This link between air quality, traffic and health has been understood for a long time by the Greens yet getting clear data from the government has been difficult. Public health data now show that 25,000 people died as a result of air pollution in 2010 from traffic - approximately 5.6% of all deaths.

Here in Maidstone, in line with the national average, 75 people died as a direct result of poor air quality - 5.6% of all deaths. Almost 10 times more people died as a result of air pollution from traffic as dies by from vehicle collisions.

It is long past the point when air pollution from traffic should have been tackled properly. Urgent action is needed including a significant investment in cycling, walking, public transport and local jobs.

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