Brussels city council approved a motion which will actively work at improving air quality in school zones. The decision comes after a study by Greenpeace Belgium that included over 222 Belgian Primary schools found worrying levels of pollution.
The EU continuously reprimands Brussels for not meeting its air quality control and exceeding levels of pollution. However, this was the first large-scale study on the air quality’s presence surrounding children within the city. Children are far more susceptible to health problems caused by the pollution’s fine particles and their exposure to high levels have been linked to serious respiratory problems.
Air quality measurements were conducted in and around the schools and their playgrounds over the course of four weeks late last year. The study found that samples collected showed air quality of worrying if not bad levels. Over half the schools tested were above the acceptable limit set by the European Union and five schools were above the legal limit for air quality.
The results showed that although the majority were legally acceptable, many still fell into unfavourable categories with an additional 29 in the “poor quality” category and 100 in a“moderate” category.
The city of Brussels has taken recent steps to try to curb the level of pollution, such as lowering the speed limit, free public transport on high pollution days and even a new electronic bus route. It is also working with the region to increase and improve air quality and will aim to increase green spaces around schools.