London, United Kingdom – The Philips Foundation, a charitable organisation set up in 2014 by global health technology leader Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) to provide access to care for disadvantaged communities, has today launched the ‘Clean Air for Schools programme’ with Global Action Plan (GAP), a leading environmental charity and the University of Manchester, a leading research institute of air quality.
The programme is the largest of its kind to be launched in the UK, with 20 participating schools and 6000 students to be included in the 10-month study. The programme aims to support schools to improve air quality as well as understand for the first time the impact of air pollution in schools by studying the varying levels of air quality in classrooms and how this affects school children.
Through tailor-made teaching resources for schools that support the national curriculum and the installation of air purifiers in classes, the Philips Foundation and GAP will work with Manchester University as part of a concurrent research project to monitor the changes in air quality from purification and education. This is whilst purifying the air of the classrooms to remove toxins, viruses and pollutants. The programme will investigate changes in children’s health and academic performance. The findings of the research will inform a groundbreaking framework designed to help schools across the UK create clean air plans to reduce pollution and protect students.
The University of Manchester will provide air monitoring equipment and analysis to help independently understand the state of air pollution in schools, analysing the levels of pollutants in including PM 2.5, PM 10, CO2, NOx and Ozone. The team will also track for any improvements that arise from behaviour change amongst the children, teachers and parents following the use of educational activities about reducing air pollution.
According to analysis carried out by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, nitrogen dioxide can be linked to 1,200 deaths a year in Greater Manchester.1 Air pollution causes heart and lung diseases and can be linked to low birth weight and impedes children’s lung development – making the issue of air pollution a pressing one for the city.
The launch of the programme took place this morning, 18th October 2019, at Russell Scott Primary School in Denton, one of the 20 participating schools. The launch saw the Philips Foundation, GAP, and representatives from The University of Manchester address students, teachers and members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to explain how students will be involved.