Children from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and living in deprived neighbourhoods are exposed to higher levels of air pollution.
That’s according to new analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which suggests average nitrogen oxides (NOx) levels at schools with the highest percentage of BAME students are 28% higher than schools with fewer ethnic minority pupils.
NOx pollution is a toxic chemical cocktail that includes nitrogen dioxide and is produced when fossil fuels are burned.
Scientists warn the chemical can cause existing heart and lung conditions to worsen.
Road transport, especially diesel cars, are believed to be major sources of NOx.
The report, which is based on data from the air quality monitoring project Breathe London, also shows the average NOx levels at schools with pupils attending from the most deprived areas were 27% higher than those at schools with pupils from the least deprived.
Analysing the rise and fall of schools’ NOx levels during the course of a day, EDF also finds pollution peaks around 7 am to 9 am.