THE Born in Bradford (BiB) research programme, based at Bradford Royal Infirmary, is set to start a new project with local primary schoolchildren to measure levels of pollution and how it affects health.

The ‘BiB Breathes’ study has been set up in response to plans by Bradford Council into introduce a ‘Clean Air Zone’ in Bradford to try to reduce levels of pollution in the city.

The project will involve training hundreds of primary school age pupils at St Stephen's C of E Primary School to become ‘citizen scientists’ and monitor levels of pollution they are exposed in school and during their daily commute.

The measurements will track how effective Bradford’s Clean Air Zone is in reducing children’s exposure to pollution over a two-year period. The team will also track its impact on birth outcomes and lung and heart health in adults and children by looking at emergency and hospital GP attendances related to these conditions three years before and after the introduction of the Clean Air Zone.

Professor Rosie McEachan, director of Born in Bradford, said: “Poor air quality is a major cause of illness, and children are particularly vulnerable to its effects.”

Jamie Thorpe, head of science at St Stephen’s Primary School, said “Our pupils have already had a chance to try out the monitors and it’s been a real eye-opener to see how much pollution there is in our local community.”