Islington residents measure ‘dangerously high’ pollution levels

Sian Berry and Islington residents

Sian Berry and Islington residents - Credit: Archant

Air pollution measuring tubes have been installed on roadsides across the borough to check out just what we are breathing.

About 30 tubes will measure the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that people are exposed to as part of a citizen science project run in collaboration with Mapping for Change and Kings College London.

The tubes will remain in place for four weeks before being sent for analysis. The results will be available at the end of February.

NO2 is linked to a range of respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, which are particularly harmful to children, older people and those with existing health conditions such as asthma and heart and lung conditions.

Many of the tubes have been placed outside schools to gather information on how air pollution may be affecting the health of children.

The installation by residents at the weekend follows a report published in July by King’s College London on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) and the Greater London Authority which showed that up to 250 deaths can be attributed to air pollution in Islington each year.

Green Party councillor Caroline Russell described the situation as a “public health emergency”.

Most Read

“We are resorting to ‘citizen science’ to show that our roads, schools and communities are being exposed to dangerously high levels of nitrogen dioxide,” she said.

“We want our borough-wide experiment to act as yet another wake-up call to Islington Council and TfL that they must do more to clean up our air and protect our health.”

Sian Berry, the party’s candidate for London mayor, added: “It is fantastic to see residents taking part in these experiments but they shouldn’t have to resort to such measures to shame the authorities into taking action.”