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Face masks for kids to counter toxic city air

Monday, March 06, 2017 - 02:23

A London-based designer has developed pollution face masks for children to protect them from the city's toxic air, as Stuart McDill reports.

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STORY: Six-year-old Yousif now feels slightly safer on his walk to school. He's wearing a new face mask designed especially for children in London - to protect him from the city's polluted air. His mother says the mask is the least he deserves. SOUNDBITE (English) SELMA ABADI, YOUSIF IBRAHIM'S MOTHER "The face mask is important because you want to protect your children from taking the pollution into their lungs and affecting them, especially as my son could develop asthma in the future, having me as an asthmatic. So anything to prevent pollution and try to reduce them is the minimum you can do." The masks are the brainschild of Tiaan Trahms - whose concern about London's poor air quality turned into a passion to try to protect young developing lungs. SOUNDBITE (English) FOUNDER OF DOODLE MASKS, TIAAN TRAHMS "As adults it affects us but not as heavily as children and the main reason for that is because their lung development isn't to the point where it's fully developed like an adult so they are affected almost 60 or 70 percent worse...I did a lot of research into cotton, the types of cotton, the inter-twinned cotton, different layers of cotton and how many you really have to have together for it to do something and the way my masks are made with the two separated layers of cotton and the way that the fabric is woven is actually scientifically proven to reduce between 40 to 60 percent of these particle intakes." Air pollution kills nearly 9,500 Londoners every year, according to King's College London... Britain's High Court even ruling government measures to tackle the problem fail European Union rules on nitrogen dioxide limits. The response - a new 10 pound a day tax on older, dirtier vehicles coming into force later this year Yousif's message to the prime minister - a plea for clean air. SOUNDBITE (English) YOUSIF IBRAHIM, SAYING: "I should say we should stop everyone from throwing rubbish on the floor and get lots of electric cars so we don't make that bad air pollution."

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Face masks for kids to counter toxic city air

Monday, March 06, 2017 - 02:23