Countdown began before the start of one of the most daring attempts in the world to withstand air pollution.
Next Monday, thousands of drivers are faced with new payment
The purpose is to keep the most dirtiest cars in an effort to reduce disease and premature death.
The initiative goes, scientists say, the effect of air pollution is more serious than previously thought
. London Mayor Sadi Khan told the BBC that the threat of air pollution, which is largely invisible to the naked eye, is a "health emergency".
He added: I believe that because we can not see solids, nitrogen dioxide, poison, you do not take it seriously.
But over the past few decades, studies have shown how gases, such as nitrogen dioxide and fine particles. , known as solids or PMs, can reach epinephrine in an organism with the risk of causing prolonged damage.
The most obvious consequences for our breathing ̵
"I had to stay for one night, because my breasts were very bad, because [of] all the dirty air", – told me the 10-year-old Alfi. "I could not fall asleep, and my mother should not sleep."
"Everything that contaminated air can damage the lungs, it can even damage your brain, it can damage almost everything that is in your body," he said.
A student at the Highmo Elementary School in Elte, near the London South Circus Road, Alfie is one of 300 children throughout the capital who are involved in unique research.
The project suggests that each child has a special air-bag backpack, specially built by Dyson, equipped with tools for measuring nitrogen dioxide and small particles called PM2.5. Dirty air at an early age can have consequences that will last all their lives.
Studies have shown that children who grow on heavily polluted streets have less lung capacity than in clean areas – an average of 5%, according to a study in London, a limitation that can not be abandoned.
And air pollution can also exacerbate other respiratory diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, as well as lung cancer.
Dr. Ben Barrett of the London College of the King, who is studying in a backpack, says that children born in a more polluted environment face big challenges in life.
"It is not necessary that there is a particular disease that they develop, but their body is less able to cope with these problems when they go in adolescence and in old age.
Another way to harm is to open up, when the smallest particles are in the depths of the lungs, to the alveoli, from where
It is established that the particles of PM2.5 are small enough to make this transition, also entering the cardiovascular system and circulating throughout the body.
Risks This includes the possibility of blocking the artery, increasing the risk of stroke, along with with heart disease and heart attacks.In addition, there is evidence that particles can reach the brain, so researchers are exploring the potential effects of such conditions as dementia.
A large Chinese study last year suggested that it be known as & # 39; between pollution and reduced cognitive productivity, and a British study, published last week, suggested a link to psychotic episodes in adolescents.
According to Professor Jonathan Grigg of the Queen Mary University of London, a leading specialist in the study of the effects of air pollution on children, show broad implications.
"We are absolutely convinced that air pollution is associated with respiratory diseases such as asthma and cardiovascular diseases with heart attacks and strokes, and in the last ninety years we will be more certain about other states such as as dementia and obesity
One of the new research areas is hunting for Explaining why infants in the most polluted areas tend to be born more prematurely and less weighty than those born elsewhere.
Small The research that is still ongoing explores the plan cents and found black dots that look like particles of pollution, seen in lung cells.
One of the researchers who participated in the work, Norris Liu, also at Queen Mary University, said that the placenta was supposed to provide a sterile environment, so the look at black dots was a surprise.
"We know what particles of pollution look like when they are in cells in other parts of the body, especially in the lungs, and the black slices we see in the placenta have a very similar shape and color than those that we do believe that they can be particles of pollution. "
Their presence does not indicate a relationship with premature delivery or lower weight, but it offers a possible mechanism.
Nineteen young mothers have so far agreed to donate their placenta to the study. and one of them, Rachel Buzuel, told me that, from all her troubles during pregnancy, air pollution is not one of them.
"It's very scary," she said, "you defend yourself when you learn that you are as pregnant as you can, and it will be that people can not protect themselves equally easily, living especially in London , it's pretty scary. "