Breathe London publishes latest PM2.5 data

The second wave of data from Breathe London has been published, which suggests London still has a long way to go until it meets World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for fine particulate matter (PM2.5).

Breathe London, which is a City Hall-backed project, fitted air quality sensors in 30 schools, which show that 90% are this year likely to exceed the WHO guideline limit for PM2.5 of 10 ug/m3.

They’ve already published data on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from the 100 fixed sensors placed in locations across the capital. Figures from July found that found levels of NO2 pollution exceeds legal limits not only in central London but also outer boroughs such as Barking, Kingston and Hillingdon.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wants the whole city to meet the WHOs PM2.5 guideline by 2030, and last week he signed the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration alongside other city mayors from around the world.

Sadiq Khan said: ‘Air pollution is a public health crisis and it is shocking that pupils are exposed to such high levels of harmful air.’

Data has also been released from Google Street View cars that were kitted out with air quality sensors to take pollution readings approximately every 30 metres at tens of thousands of locations while they travel through London’s streets.

Early analysis of the mobile data shows nitrogen dioxide is on average 51% higher on busy ‘A’ roads than quieter, local roads.

The cars recorded the highest concentrations on Hanger Lane and other locations on the North Circular, Brixton Road and Kensington Church Street.  These are all locations that will be part of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion in 2021.

Baroness Bryony Worthington, executive director, Environmental Defense Fund Europe said: ‘Our national leaders just released a much-needed but underwhelming bill to address England’s biggest environmental challenges, including our poor air quality.

‘Breathe London’s new data confirms once again that the capital’s pollution is dangerously high and threatening the health of millions. We need clear, new legal duties and policies to clean the air by targeting pollution’s sources, particularly transport, and create cities that are healthy and breathable for all.’

In related news, the Clean Air Fund, which is a new philanthropic initiative to tackle air pollution, has agreed to extend the funding of the Breathe London network for another year until July 2020.

To see all Breathe London data visit www.breathelondon.org

Photo Credit – Pixabay