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Teenage campaign group hijacks road signs to highlight how air pollution impacts BAME communities

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Fake street signs have popped up across London highlighting how air pollution is disproportionately impacting people of colour and deprived communities.

Teenage campaign group ‘Choked Up’ installed the signs in Whitechapel, Brixton and Catford yesterday and called for the Mayor of London to install more cycle and walking paths.

They read: “pollution zone: breathing kills” and “people of colour are more likely to live in an area with illegal levels of air pollution” in different languages.

‘Choked Up’ was started by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in South London following the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who lived near the South Circular Road in Lewisham.

‘Choked Up’ , installed the signs in Whitechapel (pictured), Brixton and Catford

/ Ben Mole

The nine-year-old was the first person in the UK to have air pollution listed as a cause of death after she suffered a fatal asthma attack.

Co-founder of Choked Up, Anjali Raman-Middleton, 17, said: “The landmark ruling of the Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah inquest proved that the road I live less than five minutes from can kill.

Choked Up’ was started by young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in South London following the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah (pictured)

/ PA

“I am terrified that my daily commute to school along the South Circular has already had a negative impact on my lungs. I urge London mayoral candidates to commit to transform these roads to give me and my generation a greener future.”

The signs coincide with new research released today by Environmental Defense Fund Europe which showed dangerous nitrogen dioxide pollution produced by traffic is up to 31 percent higher in areas where people from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds are most likely to live.

The signs have been placed on the capital’s Red Routes network

/ Ben Mole

The most deprived areas of London are six times more likely to have higher pollution levels than richer streets, the study found.

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