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London Green Party report reveals dangerous pollution levels

Research carried out at end of 2013 finds air pollution levels almost double legal limit in some areas of Highgate

Air pollution levels in London are consistently illegal and dangerous to human health, a report released by the London Green Party today (March 14) claims.

The report is based on research carried out in 21 locations in the Highgate Ward by the Camden Green Party and local residents in November and December last year.

The view from Hampstead Heath, where pollution levels have been found to be just under the legal limit

The view from Hampstead Heath, where pollution levels have been found to be just under the legal limit

Volunteers placed 21 ‘diffusion tubes’ on roadside posts around the area, which were sealed and collected after four weeks and sent away for analysis.

The results found that pollution in Highgate is high, with four hotspots identified where air pollution levels were nearly double the legal limit.

Many residential streets were above the legal limit for nitrogren dioxide, at 40 to 45 μg/m3, while on larger and busier streets, pollution was recorded at 50 to 80 μg/m3.

And, on Hampstead Heath, the average nitrogen dioxide was 39 µg/m3, only just below the legally binding limit of 40, which aims to protect public health.

Caroline Allen, London Green Party MEP candidate and campaigner for cleaner air, said: “The Green Party’s findings prove that the Coalition Government and London Mayor Boris Johnson simply are not doing enough to protect Londoners from the killer problem that is air pollution, despite repeated warnings from the European Parliament.

“Every year, nearly 30,000 people die prematurely because of air pollution – yet the issue isn’t taken nearly as seriously as it should be.

“Nobody should be forced to stay indoors because of air pollution. That’s why we need to cut the amount of petrol-fuelled vehicles on our city centre roads and move towards cleaner transport solutions.”

Meeting

In response to the findings, Camden Green Party is holding a public action meeting tonight (March 14) to talk about ideas to reduce traffic and air pollution in Highgate.

The meeting is to be chaired by Bennett and attended by Councillor Maya de Souza and Sian Berry, who put together the report, and will concentrate on long-term solutions and advise Londoners on how to avoid exposure.

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Geoff Broughton
7 years ago

The nitrogen dioxide “legal” limit is 40 μg/m3 averaged over
a year. Sampling for only four weeks is therefore not “consistently illegal”. A better survey would have been 24 diffusion tubes placed on 2 lamp posts in hot spots for one year.