Green MEP Jean Lambert says programme of monitoring, mitigation and education needed to address air pollution risks in Tower Hamlets
Green MEP for London Jean Lambert has called for the establishment of an Air Quality Monitoring Area (AQMA) to be established in Tower Hamlets to tackle high levels of air pollution in the borough.
According to figures published by the government yesterday, as many as 8.07% of deaths in the borough in 2011 were attributable to air pollution.
The Green Party estimates that this accounts for as many as 71 deaths, a higher proportion than some of its neighbouring boroughs.
Ms Lambert called labelled the deaths a ‘tragedy’ and called for immediate action from the government and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
She said: “Every one of these 71 victims was somebody’s father, mother, son or daughter, and is a personal tragedy for family and friends.
“We know that air pollution levels are higher in Tower Hamlets than in most of the rest of the country and far in excess of levels permitted by EU safety rules.
“This silent killer is mainly caused by exhaust fumes from traffic – but rather than try to deal with this problem we know that London Mayor Boris Johnson has tried to cover up the problem – and that he has sought to water down EU safety legislation rather than comply with it.â€?
Ms Lambert said that a comprehensive programme of monitoring, mitigation and education to address the risks of air pollution among Tower Hamlets residents.
She added: “Tower Hamlets urgently needs an Air Quality Action Plan – we need to view air pollution as a public health issue and encourage motorists to use other modes of transport.
“The European Commission has been consulting on new air quality safety rules, and is due to present its proposals to MEPs next month. I hope the government has been unsuccessful in its attempts to weaken them, and will take immediate steps to conform with any changed rules about what levels of pollution are acceptable and safe.â€?