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86 London secondary schools exposed to dangerous levels of air pollution

Secondary pupils at 86 London schools were exposed to dangerously-high levels of air pollution in 2013, according to new research from environmental consultancy Aether.

The study follows accusations in May that former mayor Boris Johnson buried a report revealing 433 primary schools to be in breach of EU nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution limits in 2010.  During that year, 5,900 deaths in the capital were attributed to long-term NO2 exposure. The inhalation of NO2 is known to aggravate respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

Young people are more at risk from air pollution than adults because their lungs and immune systems are still developing and they tend to breathe at a faster rate and inhale more air.

This report from Aether comes at a time when concern over indoor air quality (IAQ) is gaining increasing media coverage. Along with the physical health risks associated with poor IAQ, schoolchildren exposed to airborne pollutants may experience headaches and tiredness, leading to difficulty in concentrating and increased absenteeism.

Outdoor air pollution means that schools are increasingly reliant on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to provide safe, clean air to staff and pupils. Sadly, maintenance of these systems is often inadequate or overlooked entirely, leading to the development of mould, bacteria and viruses. These contaminants then make their way into classrooms via the airstream, leaving students and staff vulnerable to infection.

Gibbons Engineering Group has vast experience in the provision of clean, healthy air for occupied spaces, including schools, colleges and universities.

Our energy-efficient HVAC systems help improve indoor air quality (IAQ) while lowering running costs and extending equipment life.

Discuss our HVAC services by calling Andrew Knight on 07850 204915 or email

We also have a dedicated Ultraviolet Solutions division, which supplies pioneering ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems that use the power of ultraviolet-C (UVC) light to disinfect air handling equipment and surfaces. These low-maintenance solutions destroy bacteria, mould and viruses in the air and on surfaces while preventing regrowth.

For more information, call Gibbons Ultraviolet Solutions Sales Manager Colin Hardman on 07940 544206 or email

HVAC Services, Ultraviolet Solutions

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