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 King’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 – over three times the limit – measured in Putney and Brixton.
The Assembly’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.
The King’s College London research also found limits for PM10 – 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 Assembley’s health and environment committee, which acts as a check and balance on the Mayor, said: “Poor air quality is a serious problem in London which is affecting people’s health and contributing to thousands of premature deaths each year.
“Today’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. We heard about a raft of measures designed to tackle air pollution, but we need to see results now.”
The Committee met today with the Mayor’s adviser on environment and other experts about air pollution trends in the capital in a bid to set a baseline for future work. 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.