Figures released by London Assembly show that air pollution in capital was so high in 2011 that EU limits were exceeded at most monitoring sites near busy roads, writes Caelia Quinault
Air pollution in 2011 was so high in London that EU limits were exceeded at most monitoring sites close to busy roads, according to figures released today by the London Assembly.
Research at 100 monitoring sites by Kingâ€™s College London found limits for harmful Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) were breached at the majority of locations close to roads, with the worst pollution levels â€“ over three times the limit â€“ measured in Putney and Brixton.
The Assemblyâ€™s Health and Environment Committee heard NO2 limits were also exceeded at five locations further away from main roads in both inner and outer London and close to Heathrow.Â
The Kingâ€™s College London research also found limits for PM10 â€“ which is linked to respiratory and cardiovascular conditions – were exceeded at two kerbside monitoring sites, three roadside sites and one industrial monitoring site.
Murad Qureshi AM, chair of the London Assembleyâ€™s health and environment committee, which acts as a check and balance on the Mayor, said: â€œPoor air quality is a serious problem in London which is affecting peopleâ€™s health and contributing to thousands of premature deaths each year.Â
â€œTodayâ€™s new figures are a startling reminder that the capital has a long way to go before it meets the limits devised to protect people.Â We heard about a raft of measures designed to tackle air pollution, but we need to see results now.â€
The Committee met today with the Mayorâ€™s adviser on environment and other experts about air pollution trends in the capital in a bid to set a baseline for future work.Â A short summary report will be published later in the year. Agenda papers for the meeting can be found here.
A recent study commissioned by the Mayor estimated that air pollution causes over 4,000 extra deaths each year in London.