According to a report released by ITV more than 1,000 nurseries in England are next to roads that are breaking legal air pollution limits.
Another report released by Greenpeace also found that over 30 nurseries across Greater Manchester and one quarter of London nurseries are inadvertently exposing toddlers to dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
By law the annual average limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air, with a microgram being one millionth of a gram.
Aside from Manchester and London, other top local authority areas most affected by pollution include Birmingham, Nottingham, Plymouth, Leicester, Leeds, and Wolverhampton.
It is estimated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that NO2 is responsible for 23,500 deaths in the UK each year.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Amy Jones, from Greenpeace, said:
Most people don’t realise that all across the country toddlers are being exposed to invisible air pollution caused by diesel vehicles.
“At such a young age, children are extremely vulnerable to its effects, and it can cause long-lasting health impacts and reduced lung function.”
The report comes just the very same day that London Mayor Sadiq Kahn announced the date for the introduction of a ultra low emission zone in London.
From 8 April 2019 the most polluting vehicles will have to pay £12.50 to drive through central London.
Buses, coaches, and HGVs will have to pay £100, with City Hall hoping for a 50 per cent drop in emissions by 2020.
The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing. Now I urge the Government to step up and match my ambition to transform the appalling air we breathe.
“Ministers need to deliver a national vehicle scrappage fund, reform fiscal incentives like vehicle excise duty and pass a powerful new Clean Air Act to Act end the toxic smog in London once and for all.”
Black cabs will be exempt from the charges, while Uber drivers will have to pay.