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Air Quality Study Mapping4Change

Air Quality Study Mapping4Change

A major obstacle to a long healthy life in central London comes from vehicle emissions. 

As the toxins generated from engines burning fuel on our streets invades residents homes and bodies, the concern about the pollution effects has again reached the Mayor of London’s office with a publication by Kings College. This study combined the PM2.5 (invisible bits of carbon) and NO2 (Nitrous Dioxide) especially from transport, which have a degenerating effect particularly on lung function. 

Kings College calculated 9,500 equivalent deaths attributed to air quality in 2010 but unfortunately the current Mayor postponed the solution to pollution in 2015 called the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) delaying the start to 2020, disregarding the situation of Soho, especially the old and young. 

Soho is bounded by the worst polluting streets in Europe; the red roads on the map. A few residents have taken some action and in conjunction with Client Earth Gary Hayes posted NO2 sensors in February this year to measure the pollution in central London with a focus on West Central.  The map generated here by Healthy Air London shows the concentration levels exceeding the limits prescribed by air quality standards, most particularly surrounding Soho. 

In April Client Earth finally won a five year battle in the Supreme Court for the UK government to deliver on their promises to reduce emissions and we keenly await their response to improve the national health. The 2005 Mayor Livingston proposed ULEZ for all of London. Petitioning your Council and Government is the real solution but here are a few Band-Aids to improve health:

  1. Avoid street canyons with tall buildings
  2. Petition WCC to plant trees around your house or DIY
  3. howpollutedismyroad.org.uk good site to talk about to your Councillor and MP
  4. Ventilate and circulate air in your home
  5. Walk or jog in the park
  6. Wear a mask - especially cyclists
  7. Avoid peak hour travel and work from home
  8. http://healthyair.org.uk/documents/2013/02/healthy-air-education-pack-2012.pdf/?dadb49
  9. Use hybrid/electric public transport or cycle
  10. Change your gas appliances for thermal or induction hobs; safer and cleaner

A more local Soho resident’s pollution study was conducted in July this year with Mapping for Change, a group from University College London. We will bring you more news to support your right to clean air. The possibilities of ULEV and the Mapping for Change results of NO2 levels near your home will be available for the next edition. 

Auth. Gary Hayes With thanks to Andrea Lee of Client Earth, London Loves Business, http://healthyair.org.uk/london/, http://www.londonair.org.uk/london/asp/AnnualMaps.asp and WCC and Camden residents.