Press Release from
Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP
House of Commons, LONDON, SW1A 0AA
21 July 2020
TOM AND BAGGY’S POLLUTION MONITORING RECEIVES FURTHER ACCLAIM IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
Pioneering work on air pollution by Chesham teenager, Tom Hunt, in teamwork with his Labrador dog Bagheera (“Baggy”) received further acclaim in the House of Commons, on Tuesday 21 July.
Chesham & Amersham’s MP, Rt Hon Dame Cheryl Gillan MP, encouraged the Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to consider Tom and Baggy’s work.
Dame Cheryl said:
“ Air pollution has a direct impact on children’s health. My 14-year-old constituent Tom Hunt is perhaps the first person to measure air pollution at ground level, by collaborating with his Labrador dog Baggy, who has been wearing a pollution monitor on her collar. His father Matt owns an alternative energy company, Bio Global Industries Ltd, in my constituency, and supported him. The data showed that air pollution is two-thirds higher, closer to the ground at child level. Will the Secretary of State join me in commending Tom and Baggy for that really enterprising research, and look at recommending to manufacturers a greater emphasis on producing higher buggies, strollers and pushchairs, which will keep young children further away from the concentrated air pollution that he found closer to the ground?”
Kwasi Kwarteng MP said he was delighted to commend Tom Hunt and Baggy for their pioneering work, as is the Secretary of State, Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP. The Minister told the House of Commons, “ Dame Cheryl knows that tackling carbon emissions and improving air quality go hand in hand. We are taking action to address both, particularly with the 300,000 ultra low emission vehicles registered in the UK, and we are also providing new funding for vehicle charging infrastructure.”
Dame Cheryl commented, “ I also want to praise Tom and Baggy for their campaigning work during the Covid-19 pandemic on raising the awareness of families to the need to keep an eye on air quality indoors, to lessen the chances of conditions like asthma. Tom and Baggy have been ably supported by Tom’s parents.” During lockdown, Tom and Baggy have written their very own book “Baggy & Me: An Indoor Air Pollution Guide”, with the support of Chiltern Hills Academy, Tom’s School. Tom & Baggy have also been testing the indoor air quality and the impacts of harmful pollutants from ‘automatic air fresheners’ again the results are alarming.
Matt, Tom’s father, runs the alternative energy company Bio Global Industries. The Hunt family took time out from their work to watch on TV as the Parliamentary Question was answered on Tuesday. Matt, Tom’s Dad, said “Tom’s Grand Dads would have been so proud of what Tom has and continues to achieve, and would love to have heard Dame Cheryl at the House of Commons.”
Tom’s ground-breaking idea was to put an air pollution monitor on to Bagheera’s collar, which is at toddler height. This provided scientific data to show that the readings of air pollution from lamppost height monitors (placed at 1.5metres) did not reveal the whole picture and that readings were higher closer to the ground. Tom’s aim has been to help prevent young children from suffering asthma and other long term health conditions which are made worse by air pollution, which are not normally detected until later in their lives.