In April 2017, Mums for Lungs was founded to campaign for cleaner air. A local branch was set up earlier this year in East Sheen to focus on the borough of Richmond and nearby pollution hot spots.
Air pollution is killing around 9,500 Londoners prematurely every year and unborn babies, small children and the elderly are the most vulnerable to its harmful effects. A growing body of research shows toxic air is linked to strokes, heart and lung disease and brain ageing, and The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified air pollution as a known cause of lung cancer. What’s less well known is that air pollution can stunt lung growth and reduce lung capacity in children. Those living in highly polluted parts of London can have up to 10 per cent less lung capacity than normal.
Mums for Lungs are active in the community, speaking with councilors and MPs about environmental policies, supporting local schools’ and business’ initiatives and attending public debates. We are monitoring the Stag Brewery development as we are concerned about the potential increase in traffic during the construction phase, and consequent worsening air quality. We would also prefer to see a higher proportion of electric vehicle parking integrated within the proposal to ensure Mortlake’s air quality doesn’t suffer into the future.
- ‘Understanding the Health Impacts of Air Pollution in London’, King’s College London report for TfL and GLA, July 2015.
- ‘Every Breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution’, report by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, February 2016.
- TfL (2017). Proposed changes to the ULEZ (start date and emissions standards). https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-2/user_uploads/ulez-changes— stage-3a—con-and-info-doc—final-v1.0.pdf