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New research by UK-wide air filtration specialists, Commercial Air Filtration, has revealed the cost of clean classroom air for primary school children around the UK: just 10p per child per day.

Commercial Air Filtration’s calculation is based on its experience of installing air filtration systems in a growing number of inner city primary schools, both state and private, in order to protect pupils from ultra-fine, or ‘PM2.5’, air pollution.

The air filtration company has calculated that for the average UK primary classroom of 27 pupils, attending school 189 days per year, fitting a high quality air purifier would cost just 10p per child per day over a 10 year period. 

This contrasts dramatically to the cost per child of a school lunch, which is on average £2.30, meaning that clean air accounts for just 4% of this daily cost. Furthermore, £1.12 is the average daily cost of a school uniform and PE kit, which again means that safeguarding children from potentially harmful pollution is significantly cheaper than the cost of other basic educational needs.

Ultra-fine air pollution – such as PM2.5 and smaller – has been shown to have a direct long-term negative impact on cognitive development among children. 

Poor air quality in a school can also lead to tiredness and lack of concentration, as well as aggravate allergy symptoms such as rhinitis, hay fever and asthma. 

Once the air filtration system has been paid for, the only recurring fee is a bi-annual replacement of the filters, the cost of which is negligible. The machines have a life expectancy of 10+ years.

Christian Lickfett, Managing Director, Commercial Air Filtration, commented:

“The cost of uniforms and lunches can be several pounds a day, and for just 10p more we can ensure our children are breathing clean air at school. With research showing a clear link between air pollution and a child’s cognitive and overall health development, and exposure to allergens triggering general allergy and asthma symptoms, something has to be done. Awareness of the need for clean air in school classrooms, especially primary schools in inner city areas, is growing by the day and is a particular focus of London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Funding might come from schools, parents, Local Authorities or the Government — but at a cost of just 10p per child per day, we can deliver clean air to our children today.” 

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