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From: The Socialist issue 944, 12 April 2017: NHS: Walkouts can win

Search site for keywords: Environment - Transport - Green - Energy - Socialist - Socialist Party - Volkswagen - Public transport - Carbon

47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

Fight for publicly owned green energy and transport

Car exhaust contains poisonous nitrogen oxides, photo Simone Ramella (Creative Commons)

Car exhaust contains poisonous nitrogen oxides, photo Simone Ramella (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Aaron Smith, Bristol South Socialist Party

Thousands of kids across Britain are having their living conditions worsened and lives potentially shortened as they are exposed to illegal levels of air pollution.

Alongside carbon dioxide, methane and sulphur, the Guardian and Greenpeace have found there are dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide around over 2,000 schools.

Although the worst of the pollution is in London, Birmingham and Manchester, smaller cities like Plymouth and Newcastle are affected almost as much.

The main culprit is diesel vehicles. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that of the 40,000 premature deaths from air pollution, 23,500 result from exposure to nitrogen dioxide.

This is partly due to the Blairites. In 2001, the New Labour government gave diesels breaks on vehicle tax to encourage consumers to buy them. Gordon Brown, then chancellor, apparently believed the diesel industry's claim to be 'cleaner' than petrol.

But this proved to be utter rubbish, as former science minister Lord Drayson admitted in 2015. And then the Volkswagen emissions scandal came out.

Our health is at great risk, and the big business profiteers and their politicians can't be trusted to sort it out.

The Socialist Party fights for nationalisation of the energy and transport industries under democratic workers' control and management.

That would allow mass investment in public transport and infrastructure without the interference of the profit motive. Polluting cars could also be converted to cleaner fuels without punishing car owners.

Clean up our air and water!






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