Worried parents have spoken out about "toxic" air pollution in Wycombe.

Campaigner, Muhna Khan, a Unicef children's champion, organised a session at Playtrain in Lancaster Road for parents to share their thoughts on air pollution and said there is "growing concern" about the issue.

It comes just months after it was revealed that air pollution levels in some areas of High Wycombe are more than 70 per cent above the national target.

The worst exceedance in High Wycombe was found to be 69.5 microgrammes per cubic metre at Wycombe Abbey School’s accommodation block, alongside Marlow Hill – 72.5 per cent above the government’s target of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre.

The district council recently unveiled a raft of new plans to try and cut air pollution levels in the area.

According to recent findings by Unicef, one in three children in the UK are growing up in areas with unsafe levels of particulate pollution and air pollution related illnesses are costing the NHS over £40 million a year.

Talking about her decision to hold a focus group, Muhna said: “We all want the best for our children and to create a healthy environment for our child to strive. It starts with ensuring each and every child has the right to breathe clean air. I am a humanitarian at heart and proud to be doing something positive for my local community. ”

During the session, parents raised several concerns, including the impact of poor air quality on children’s health, pollution in school classrooms and their children’s ability to compete in sport if they contracted health problems as a result of air pollution.

A particular worry for the area was the proximity to the M40 and the busy main road through High Wycombe.

Muhna has now called on the government to "prioritise" the issue and "do something about it quickly".

One worried High Wycombe parent, Jenny, was concerned about the health impacts on her daughter Sienna. She said: “If the air isn’t clean then children get sick a lot. She gets a cough, a cold. [The statistics] are a lot worse than I thought. So it’s quite shocking. I think more people should be aware.”

The concerns raised by parents have been backed by Unicef, who has stated that exposure to air pollution can affect children’s lung growth, brain development and could leave them with long-term health problems such as asthma.

Adam Bailey, senior campaigns advisor at Unicef UK, said: “The work of our brilliant Unicef Children’s Champions, like Muhna, show the power of local communities to start the discussions which can lead to change. Unicef is calling on parents across the UK to join together and urge the Government to protect children from toxic air where they live, learn and play.”