Every child in London is breathing toxic air, mainly caused by polluting road vehicles. Together with the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, we are committed to helping Londoners breathe cleaner air.
We are doing this by introducing the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London, cleaning up our bus fleet and taxis, and supporting small businesses and charities to switch to cleaner vehicles.
As Londoners, we all have a role to play in improving our city's air quality. By 2041 we want 80% of trips in London to be made on foot, by cycling or by public transport.
This is a big task, but we can all do our bit by making small changes to the way we travel.
The volume of road traffic in London makes it one of the most polluted places in the UK - an estimated 5.8 million journeys are made by car every day.
Air pollution contributes to the early deaths of thousands of Londoners every year, with an economic cost to the capital of around £3.7bn a year.
Myth: Only central London is affected by air pollution
FACT: Pollution affects every borough in the city, not just central London
Myth: Road vehicles aren't the main cause of London's air pollution
FACT: Driving polluting vehicles is the single biggest cause, contributing to around half of the air pollution in London
If you can leave the car at home, try these alternatives for a cleaner journey:
If you do need to drive, then consider these options:
Consider these tips with your next online shop:
Sign up for TfL marketing emails which will include updates on air quality in London.
Myth: You don't need to switch off a car engine when stationary
FACT: Research shows that turning off the engine significantly reduces pollution levels in the surrounding area
Myth: You can always see when air pollution is bad in London
FACT: Most airborne toxins are invisible to the naked eye
Every time we drive, our petrol and diesel cars produce pollutants which can reach deep into the body and cause lasting damage:
Find out more about these pollutants on the Breathe London website.
High levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air can:
The small particles emitted by road vehicles can pass through the nose and throat and settle deep in the lungs. Some particles are so tiny that they get in the bloodstream and be carried around the body.
Both short and long-term exposure to this particulate matter can:
Young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of air pollution because it can stunt their lung growth. Research shows that children growing up in heavily polluted streets have a smaller lung capacity than those in cleaner areas - on average by 5% - and this can't be reversed.
In pregnant women, pollutants can pass from mother to baby across the placenta. Air pollution is also linked to low birth weight.
The benefits of walking or cycling generally outweigh the risks from air pollution for most people who don't suffer from heart or lung problems - so enjoy outdoor activities except when pollution levels are high.