Traffic: Brussels to measure schools’ air quality

Tuesday, 04 September 2018 07:44
Traffic: Brussels to measure schools’ air quality © Belga
As of January, the Brussels Region will measure the air quality in and around schools, ministers and State secretary Céline Fremault, Bianca Debaets and Pascal Smet announced Monday.
The operation will take place in fifty schools for two four-day periods during the mild and cold months.

In March, Greenpeace published the results of a study showing that the air quality is poor, even worrying, in many schools in Belgium. The environmental organization had measured the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration in the street, on school playground and in class in November and December 2017. Displeased parents had initiated actions, particularly in Brussels, to call for measures.

The regional government in turn decided to conduct a study that bearing on the “black carbon” – or soot carbon – level, which is easier to measure with portable instruments and is an indicator of car traffic density. These measuring instruments will be given to three teachers per school, who will carry them around their neck for four days running. The final report will be submitted in April 2021. Two intermediary reports are expected in September 2019 and in June 2020. “We want parents to know that we listen to them,” Mrs. Fremault insisted.

This measure fits within the climate quality plan adopted by the Region, which progressively limits the use of highly polluting vehicles within the capital or plans a “diesel exit’’ in 2030.

Before the holidays, the Chamber adopted a legislative proposal to authorize “school streets” by creating a specific road sign. It is about closing a street when schools open and close, or even making them partially or totally pedestrian areas. Two are already in place in the Brussels Region: one downtown and one in Saint-Josse. “School streets should be the rule. A child must be able to go to school safely and in a healthy atmosphere,” Mrs. Debaets explained.

A fund of one million euros per year will help the municipalities set up such a facility.

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

Brussels receives second batch of electric scooters

Brussels receives second batch of electric scooters

The U.S. company Bird on Tuesday positioned 100 folding electric scooters in various parts of Brussels, thus becoming the second firm to do so, after Troty in late June.

Six countries suspend pork imports from Belgium

Six countries suspend pork imports from Belgium

Six countries have suspended the importation of Belgian pork following the detection of five cases of African swine fever in boars, the Belgian meat federation, Febev, indicated on Tuesday.

Prices for favourite dishes go up and down

Prices for favourite dishes go up and down

First the bad news: Thanks to the intense and long-lasting drought of this summer, the frites on sale in most outlets promise to be smaller and more expensive, according to the potato industry.