By Team

LONDON (CBSMiami) – Researchers are exploring the effects of air pollution on children’s health and the steps governments can take to create a cleaner environment.

To learn more, scientists are using a special belt to track the movements of 3,500 kids. 84 schools in England are taking part in the four-year study, with students aged 6 to 9 years old.

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London is one of the most polluted cities in Europe.

“Even if you live in the countryside at the moment, you know, you’re not far from a main road, a busy road,” said parent Faye Angel.

The impacts can be deadly. Last year, a coroner ruled air pollution contributed to the death of a nine-year-old British girl who died after an asthma attack.

“Children are particularly vulnerable because they’re going through a period of rapid growth. The key organs of the heart, the lungs, and the brain, which we know are impacted by air pollution,” said James Scales, a research associate at Queen Mary University of London.

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To stop the smog, London introduced ultra-low emission zones. Polluting cars are charged $17 a day to enter the capital. But scientists want to know if it’s working.

“What we want to see is whether the actions that can be taken by local and national government actually produce a change which delivers better health for children,” said Dr. Ian Mudway from Imperial College London.

That’s where the kids come in. Researchers are not just monitoring their movements but also other vital signs, like how their lungs function.

They’re also tracking which potentially polluted routes kids walk on the way to school.

“There’s lots of pollution being carried around. So, it’s good to stay aware,” said 10-year-old May Angel.

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Researchers say, ultimately, learning more about pollution isn’t just about creating a healthier environment for kids but a healthier one for all of us. Team