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Schoolgirls monitor air pollution at Elephant & Castle

Earlier this month Neil Coyle MP visited Notre Dame School near Elephant & Castle to discuss with pupils the results of an air quality monitoring exercise they had carried out last autumn.

Schoolgirls monitor air pollution at Elephant & Castle
Neil Coyle discussing the results of the air quality monitoring exercise with girls from Notre Dame School
Schoolgirls monitor air pollution at Elephant & Castle

Notre Dame RC Girls' School in St George's Road took part in Cleaner Air 4 Southwark Secondary Schools, a pilot programme intended to increase knowledge, improve air quality and reduce exposure to pollution at five Southwark schools.

Last autumn London Sustainability Exchange worked with a year 8 class at Notre Dame to look at air pollution levels in the streets around the school.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels were monitored over two weeks, with the findings showing that in 15 out of the 16 locations monitored the NO2 levels would exceed the EU legal limit if averaged over the whole year.

"Elephant & Castle has some of the worst air quality in London, so it's a very real problem," said Samantha Heath of London Sustainability Exchange.

Just after Christmas Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle visited the school to discuss the findings of the air quality study.

He said: "It was amazing that the young people asked such enthusiastic and important questions on how air quality can be improved.

"The girls have worked so hard to understand how that can make the difference, I am keen to stay in touch, and make sure that new planning decisions take the need to improve air quality in the area."

When asked about the seriousness of London's air quality problem, the MP replied: "I don't think it's quite there yet, I don't think it is being taken as seriously as it should."

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