Local people in Chiswick get more crowd-funded air pollution monitors
Air pollution in London is a growing problem, and people are justifiably very concerned about its health impacts. The local campaign group in Chiswick, CHATR, has been involved with moves to get more air pollution monitors installed. With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the 3rd round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor. This follows from monitoring results in summer 2015 that showed pollutants over EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the “Golden Mile” – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and also a 3rd runway, are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air. Scientific studies are showing increasing ill health, particularly caused by NO2 and particulates. This ill health is expensive not only in human terms, but in the costs to the NHS and to society. Chiswick would be directly below the arrivals flight path for a 3rd Heathrow runway, so it could suffer from far higher pollution from so many aircraft – emitting NO2 – only perhaps 2,000 feet overhead. The Green Party stresses how changes to transport are urgently needed. The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project.
Chiswick Locals Help Crowdfunded Air Pollution Monitors
By Paul Williams (Chiswick Herald)
Fri, Mar 04, 2016
With the help of Chiswick Brentford and Isleworth neighbours, the Hounslow Green Party has installed the third round of air pollution monitors targeting the A4/M4 corridor, following-up on last summer monitoring results above EU limits. The proposed development schemes presented for the Golden Mile – that extends from Chiswick to Osterley- and a third runway are expected to have significant adverse effects on already bad quality air.
This week a joint report published by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health demands urgent action on air pollution in the United Kingdom. The report called Every breath we take reads: “Vulnerable people are prisoners of air pollution, having to stay indoors and limit their activity when pollution levels are high. This is not only unjust; it carries a cost to these individuals and the community from missed work and school, from more health problems due to lack of exercise, and from social isolation. Taking action will reduce pain, suffering and demands on the NHS, while getting people back to work, learning, and an active life. The value of these benefits far exceeds the cost of reducing emissions”.
Andree Frieze, candidate to the London Assembly for South West London said at the launch: “Hounslow has been a car friendly borough for years, it is on Heathrow’s flight path, it is compulsively giving away parks and green spaces to development and lacks investment on rail and cycling. It is no surprise the air quality is so bad on traffic saturated roads to central London and Heathrow”. Frieze continued: “Most European capitals have cleaned their public transport fleets and London is lagging behind, we need action now, and only the Green Party can clean up London’s public transport by 2020”.
Shahrar Ali, deputy leader of the Green Party and also candidate to the London Assembly, was also at the launch and said: “Kids, commuters and residents in London are breathing terrible air. London needs to stop ignoring World Health Organisation’s guidelines and act now. We do not need another Mayor and Assembly that prioritises cars. Instead, we need to prioritise public transport, greenscapes and cycling”.
The House of Commons identifies NHS and environmental costs as major effects of air pollution in the UK and have established the annual price tag somewhere between £8-20 billion, including EU fines for constant breaches in London. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) believes these figures are underestimates and that not enough policy is in place to quantify the positive effects of more policy and better air quality.
The air pollution monitors has been sourced from Mapping for Change, a citizen’s science project that works with groups and organisations who want to understand, improve and produce information about the places that matter to them. More at mappingforchange.org.uk
Heathrow Airwatch is an initiative run with Heathrow airport, with air quality monitors situated around the airport
The Heathrow Airwatch website says it:
“provides you with information about where air quality is measured around Heathrow and what the air quality levels are right now, and over the past week. There’s also more general information about air quality, including an explanation of the terms used.
“This site has been funded by a joint working partnership consisting of the Heathrow Airport Ltd, London Boroughs of Hillingdon and Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne Borough Councils and British Airways. The contact page provides contact information for the Heathrow Airwatch partners. “
Heathrow Airwatch produce figures each day of the levels of air pollution, at their various monitors. See map for monitors
There are two monitors in the Chiswick area – one at Gunnersbury and one on Chiswick High Road, near Turnham Green.
You can locate a monitor on the map, or using its latitude and longitude coordinates, at http://www.latlong.net/ Daily data are produced for several pollutants, including NO2 and particulates.
The Heathrow Airwatch website says it “is funded by a joint working partnership. If you need further information about air quality in the Heathrow area, or have a specific enquiry about the Heathrow Airwatch website, then please contact us via one or more of the e-mail addresses below.
- Heathrow Airport Ltd: firstname.lastname@example.org
- British Airways: email@example.com
- London Borough of Hillingdon: firstname.lastname@example.org
- London Borough of Hounslow: email@example.com
- Slough Borough Council: EnvironmentalQuality@slough.gov.uk
- Spelthorne Borough Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Environment Agency: email@example.com