South London air pollution breaks legal limits – even on quiet side streets

13 February 2017

Latest figures show air pollution in Lambeth broke EU legal limits – even on quiet side streets away from busy main roads – at nearly all the sites where it was measured in November and December 2016.

Levels of Nitrogen Dioxide were illegally high at 24 out of 27 air quality monitors in November and at 30 out of 34 sites measured in December.

Local volunteers are measuring air pollution across Lambeth as part of a six-month scheme called Love Lambeth Air run by Mapping for Change for Lambeth Council [1]. Once a month volunteers change diffusion tubes that measure N02 in their neighbourhood - and send them off for analysis at University College London.

Lambeth Green Party is calling for urgent action from Lambeth Council following readings of the first two months of air pollution data from sites across the borough.

“We can’t be complacent,” said Herne Hill Green campaigner Bruno Combelles, who is monitoring pollution outside his daughter’s nursery in Brixton. “Air pollution is killing 10,000 Londoners a year and a crisis of this magnitude requires strong action.

“As a first step Lambeth Council should end its dirty incineration of household waste – and fast-track the conversion of its own fleet of diesel vehicles to cleaner fuel.”

The full results for Lambeth in December [2] were:
NO² (<40) Below EU Limits – x 3 sites
NO² (40-60) Above EU Limits x 19 sites
NO² (60-80) 50% Above EU Limits x 11 sites
NO² (80-100) 100% Above EU Limits x 0 sites
NO² (100+) 150% Above EU Limits x 1 site (under the bridge on Westminster Bridge Road, between St Thomas’ hospital, Waterloo station and Lambeth North station)

The results for November [2] were:
27 sites in Lambeth and 24 of these were above EU limits for NO2:
NO² (<40) Below EU Limits: 3 sites
NO² (40-60) Above EU Limits: 17 sites
NO² (60-80) 50% Above EU Limits: 5 sites
NO² (80-100) 100% Above EU Limits: 1 site (Near Brixton, on Stockwell 
Road in between Stansfield Road and Rumsey Road)
NO² (100+) 150% Above EU Limits: 1 site (under the bridge on Westminster Bridge Road, between St Thomas’ hospital, Waterloo station and Lambeth North station)

For more information contact Bruno Combelles, tel. 07812 540031 or Chris Holt 07866 801177.

Photographs attached or Green Party air quality monitor Chris Holt.

Notes
1.    Mapping for Change: 
http://mappingforchange.org.uk/projects/love-lambeth-air/
2.    Air quality data map: 
https://communitymaps.org.uk/project/air-quality-monitoring?center=51.4568:-0.1044:12&subset=2
3.    Lambeth Council is currently drafting an Air Quality Action Plan to tackle the pollution: 
https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/consultations/lambeth-air-quality-action-plan-2017-to-2022
4.    It was reported last week that after sending warnings to the UK over its failure to reduce air pollution every year since 2010, the EU was now course to start legal proceedings within two months: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/06/european-commission-escalates-action-uk-breaching-air-pollution-limits.






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