Parents install airplane style ‘oxygen masks’ at local bus stop to highlight toxic Manchester streets

8th November 2019
news
release

Location: Stockport Road, Levenshulme, 1000am, 8th November 

Parents dress up as cabin crew handing out safety leaflets to raise awareness

A group of parents have installed airplane style ‘oxygen masks’ at their local bus stop to highlight the toxic air on UK streets. The masks drop down when air pollution reaches dangerous levels. With 83% of UK parents worried about the effect of air pollution* on their families the group are calling for urgent action to reduce air pollution, such as the inclusion of the most polluting private cars in the Clean Air Zone for Greater Manchester.

Laura Hamilton, one of the parents involved says ‘tests done last year in Levenshulme showed that there were very high and illegal levels of air pollution near busy roads in the area and close to children’s nurseries and schools. As a local parent, I have seen first hand the impact on children’s health with several toddlers and young children under 5 years old already being on daily inhalers and having been admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties. Some families are now planning to leave the area due to concerns about their children’s health. We want our cities to be healthy and happy places for people of all ages to live and we need urgent action by local and national government’

Parents will take the airplane theme further dressing up in cabin crew outfits and handing out ‘safety leaflets’ highlighting the dangers of roadside pollution and how to reduce your exposure it.

Safety leaflet anti pollution tips

  • Stand back from the road while waiting for a bus
  • Travel down back routes away from busy roads
  • Avoid travelling in cars –  where pollution can be twice as high as outside!

The special bus stops will be cropping up across the country with parents from the group installing them in Manchester, Leeds and London. The parents all belong to new national campaigning group The Air Team (www.airteam.uk) a group of parents across the UK who are worried about the dangers of air pollution – largely caused by traffic – on their children’s health.

Recent data released by King’s College London shows that hundreds of children and adults across England are suffering out-of-hospital cardiac arrests or being sent to hospital for strokes or severe asthma attacks on days when air pollution levels are higher. NHS England boss Simon Stevens said it was evidence of “a health emergency”.

The Air team are calling for the government to take urgent action to get polluting vehicles off our roads, and commit to meeting World Health Organization guideline levels on air pollution by 2030.

For more information, interviews or images please speak to Zac Schwarz airteampress@gmail.com 07827 951 030 or Edie Holder 07515 706003

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NOTES TO EDITORS

*Hubbub Pollution study research 

Photographs from the event available at Manchester Friends of the Earth Flickr album.

MANCHESTER ACTION LOCATION: Stockport Road/Carrill Grove Bus Stop 

https://goo.gl/maps/r3yD2QkY1sZsicsz6

AIR TEAM PARENTS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: 

Helen Rimmer, mother of a 4 year old who uses inhalers, and a baby under one. Member of Clean Air Levenshulme.  @LevyCleanAir

Laura Hamilton, mother of a 3 year old, member of Clean Air Levenshulme.  @LevyCleanAir

The Clean Air Levenshulme parents group has monitored levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ten locations in Levenshulme, six in June 2017 and four in October 2018. The four latest results show that air pollution remains high outside schools and nurseries and is approaching illegal levels – including 38.3 ug/m3 outside Levenshulme High School for Girls – while on Stockport Road A6 two recordings found pollution well over legal levels, of 48.2 and 60.2, including outside a Dr’s surgery and leisure centre.

The pollution was monitored for two weeks, providing a snapshot of NO2 pollution for that time. [6] NO2 is a toxic gas which inflames the lining of the lungs. The legal annual limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) but there are no safe levels of exposure to air pollution.

According to Transport for Greater Manchester, road transport contributes 75% of emissions of nitrogen oxides and 81% of particulate emissions in Greater Manchester.