Business provide clean air technology to tackle 'frightening' pollution levels at Holloway nursery
PUBLISHED: 14:38 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:34 07 October 2019
©Martin Lea Photography 2019
Children subjected to "frightening" levels of pollution at a Holloway nursery will soon breath cleaner air.
Green technology company Evergen and taxi-hailing app Gett have gifted Bennet Court Community Playgroup, in Axminster Road, a much-needed air purification system.
Evergen provided the Monolite 510 equipment designed to reduce the pollution levels in the main play area, used by 25 kids - and Gett covered the costs using customer donations, as users are encouraged to give 20p when ordering a black cab via its app.
Evergen first installed pollutions sensors in and outside classrooms, which found harmful particulate matter 2.5 was poorest in the core playgroup hours of 10am to 2pm - with a peak of 156 micrograms per cubic meter.
Helena Farstad, co-founder of Islington Clean Air Parents and Bennet Court management committee treasurer, told the Gazette: "It was surprisingly bad. Particulate matter enters the blood stream, impacts organs and can stunt children's lung develop - having potentially a big adverse impact on their life."
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She said the playgroup is close to the "two most polluting roads in north London": Seven Sisters Road and Holloway Road.
She's grateful the companies have helped, but doesn't think early year provision like Bennet Court or schools should be reliant on the private sector to provide clean air in children's classrooms.
Helena says pollution readings at the playgroup are above the "legal limit" and she hopes the new technology, due to be turned on any day now, will change that. There will be further air quality test in a few weeks time to compare results.
She added: "The quality of the air many children are exposed to is often connected to socio-economic background. Not everyone has a choice or can afford to move away from particularly polluted areas.
If you find yourself living on major artery roads like Holloway Road or Seven Sisters, and your bedroom is facing out on those streets, the air your exposed to is anything but fresh."
Sukhbir Sidhu, director of Evergen, said: "We're calling out to other businesses, especially those in construction, transport and catering - to contribute directly to schools that are looking to raise money for the air purification equipment they need."
Gett's marketing director John De Pree said: "The quality of the air our children breathe is of significant concern at this vulnerable stage of their lives and that's why we're investing in schemes that actively clean the air today. We're delighted that this initiative is producing such fantastic results.