New research on pollution and babies’ health shows the need for air quality monitoring in the South East is greater than ever, says MEP candidate Anneliese Dodds.
Air Quality Monitoring stations in Medway, Brighton, Reading, Portsmouth, Oxford and Southampton are at risk as the UK Government is consulting on whether to remove the responsibility for local authorities to carry out air quality checks.
Countering pollution is not ‘red tape’, it is essential for our health and that of our children," Anneliese Dodds.
However, a new study of 74,000 women across Europe has indicated that exposure to pollutants increases the risk of babies suffering from low birth weight and small head circumference.
This new, extensively peer-reviewed research, published in the well-respected journal ‘The Lancet’, indicates the continuing need for action in England to reduce air pollution levels.
Anneliese Dodds, one of SE Labour’s MEP candidates, has been raising awareness of the issue. Following this new research she is urging people to sign a petition to keep the monitoring stations in place.
Anneliese said: “This high-quality research, involving tens of thousands of mothers across Europe, indicates clearly that air pollution can have an impact not only on children and the elderly, but even on foetuses and babies.
“It shows that even when other factors like parental smoking are taken into account, those mothers living in areas with higher levels of pollution are more likely to give birth to babies who have low birth weight and reduced head circumference.
“It is essential that we maintain air quality monitoring stations across the South East so that we know what is in the air we breathe. However, the current Coalition government is considering rolling back our system of air quality management as part of its ‘Red Tape Challenge’.
“Countering pollution is not ‘red tape’, it is essential for our health and that of our children, and this fact is underlined by this new research."
The petition against the changes is available here: chn.ge/14zcS5w
Read the full article reporting the research, including a summary of its findings, here:
For an assessment of the article and its strengths and limitations, see: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2013-10-15-air-pollution-associated-with-low-birth-weight/