Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has today voiced his concern over analysis by UNICEF UK that says millions of children in the UK living in areas where there are unsafe levels of air pollution – meaning that they are breathing in toxic air which damages their health.
UNICEF UK’s research also shows that it is the youngest children that are most at risk, and that the toxic air can cause problems such as stunted lung growth, issues with brain development, and could cause long-term problems such as asthma. As they grow into adults, it will increase their risk of lung cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
In Stockton on Tees, there are more than 45,000 children growing up with unsafe levels of air pollution, with around 2250 of them being under the age of 1.
Voicing his concerns on the matter, Alex said:
“The research analysis put together by UNICEF UK speaks for itself. Right here in Stockton, there are thousands of babies living with unsafe levels of air pollution. It’s unacceptable and the Government must take action.
“I agree with UNICEF UK that the UK Government must priorities and fund measures that protect children and other vulnerable groups from toxic air in places they live, learn and play.
“We also need ambitious networks of clean air zones, expand air quality monitoring and data collection, and carry out detailed research into the health impacts and risks for all children. Anything less than full commitment to tackling this problem is not good enough.”