Is harmful pollution near your playground?
Search the map and click on the dot to find out your school’s pollution levels
The darker the dot, the higher the pollution level at your school
- The grey dots on this map show primary and secondary schools
- High levels of NO2 are harmful to health and can indicate that other types of toxic traffic pollution are present
- Studies have shown that the health of children living within 150 metres of illegally polluted roads can be affected by traffic-related air pollution
- Even if your school is further than 150 metres from an illegally polluted road, air pollution can still impact children’s health at or on their way to school
- The data is mapped from the best and most recent publicly available government information, published in August 2017. Let us know if you think any schools should, or should not be, included
- Pin location is approximate, but pollution data is accurate to the nearest road breaching legal limits
- Where did ClientEarth find this data?
Illegal and harmful levels of air pollution across the UK are taking a heavy toll on our health
Over certain levels, air pollution can be poisonous and prevent children’s lungs from growing to full size
Road transport is a major source of air pollution. Diesel vehicles are the main source of NO2, a harmful gas which is at illegal levels in many towns and cities
Is your child playing in a poisoned playground?
Kids should be able to play in air that’s safe to breathe
ClientEarth has been fighting for your right to breathe clean air. After seven years of ongoing legal battles, we defeated the UK Government twice in both the High Court and Supreme Court. We need the government to take greater notice of air pollution.
Our health is too important to be a postcode lottery
Polluted air has wide-ranging harmful effects on our health
Pollution affects our health and the quality of our life on a daily basis. Breathing polluted air poses even more serious risks to children, older people and people with existing medical conditions.
It has been linked to premature births and children developing smaller lungs as they grow up in polluted areas.
It causes cancer. It can also trigger heart attacks and strokes. It aggravates breathing conditions, increasing the risk of asthma attacks leading to more hospital admissions.
There is also a growing body of research linking air pollution to other illnesses, including diabetes, developmental problems for children and suggested links to dementia.
Successive governments have denied us the right to breathe clean air
37 out of 43 zones across the UK still have illegal levels of air pollution
Legal limits for the whole of 2017 were broken within just 5 days
The health impacts from air pollution cost the UK billions of pounds every year…
…which puts a strain on the NHS budget
We have successfully taken the UK Government to court over its failure to tackle illegal air pollution
Air pollution doesn’t stop at the school gate
Across the country, children are exposed to illegal and harmful levels of air pollution while on their way to and at school.
In the UK, pupils at almost 1,000 schools are exposed to NO2 levels that endanger their health and will shape their future wellbeing.
Traffic pollution contains nitrogen dioxide, NO2, as well as microscopic soot particles – known as “particulate matter” (PM) – which are known to be especially harmful to health. These can be inhaled deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.
While the UK meets legal limits of PM these are more than double the recommended guideline levels by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
We need the UK government to take urgent action to meet legal limits of NO2 in the shortest time possible.
It also needs to take action to reduce levels of PM. It should adopt legal limits for PM that match the safer WHO guideline levels to better safeguard our health.
Our government is failing our children. But you can force it to act.
We are leading the legal fight for clean air
We have proven in the courts that the UK government is failing in its legal duty to protect us from toxic air pollution, forcing it to produce two new air quality plans. This would not have happened without our legal case. But the government is not acting fast enough. That’s why we’re still fighting for a plan fit to tackle this public health crisis – and still breathing illegally dirty air.
It’s time for the government to act
ClientEarth is calling for…
- A comprehensive network of Clean Air Zones (CAZs) across the UK – these must keep the dirtiest vehicles out of the most polluted parts of our towns and cities and champion public transport, walking and cycling.
- Alongside this we need the government to help drivers switch from dirty diesel vehicles to cleaner forms of transport.
- A new UK Clean Air Act to protect our right to breathe clean air and match legal limits to safer WHO guideline levels.
This is your chance to help.
Sign the petition – end Poisoned Playgrounds
- The map has been produced based on an analysis by UCL commissioned by ClientEarth. It uses school and air pollution data from government sources that were accurate at the time of analysis. Data sources: England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
- The analysis uses air pollution data modelled by the UK government and shows the average annual NO2 concentration levels in 2015. This data has been calibrated against measured data from monitors and was used as the basis for the 2017 UK air quality plans
- The data covers major roads only so does not include minor roads that may have busy traffic levels and therefore potentially illegal levels of NO2
- Concentration levels decrease with distance and the analysis has not been able to identify barriers, such as tall buildings, that may exist between the roads and schools. The analysis does not, therefore, indicate actual pollution levels in the playgrounds. The nearer to illegally polluted roads that schools and playgrounds lie, then the higher the risk of health impacts
- Special thanks to BMB Agency for Poisoned Playgrounds creative. Film directed, shot and edited by Good Boy Wolf. Stills photography by This is Dodd