|David Wardle and Pam Laurance (Brent Friends of the Earth) at Sustainability Day at Colindale Public Health England|
On 5th May 2017 the government released its plan for improving air quality and is a call for action from Brent Council and the Mayor of London.
The plan underlines the importance of the work being carried out by Brent FOE which has contributed to the evidence base indicating the illegal and dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air in Brent.
Brent FOE took measurements of the levels of nitrogen dioxide in February this year at 9* locations in Brent, using Friends of the Earth Air Quality kits (available at foe.co.uk). The locations included playgrounds, schools, high streets, tube stations, and areas that have a significant footfall.
Nitrogen dioxide is one of many air pollutants. It is a smelly gas which contributes to smog and respiratory problems. Nitrogen dioxide inflames the lining of the lungs, and it can reduce immunity to lung infections. This can cause problems such as wheezing, coughing, colds, flu and bronchitis.
Increased levels of nitrogen dioxide can have a significant impact on people with asthma, due to the fact that it can cause more frequent and more intense attacks. Children with asthma and older people with heart disease are most at risk.
The EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide concentrations is 40µg/m3. The readings at the 9* locations ranged from 64.81µg/m3 to 94.16µg/m3. The evidence indicates that all locations had nitrogen dioxide concentrations that were above the EU legal limit, and some were more than double that limit.
FOE is demanding the introduction of a Clean Air Act and a generous scrappage system for diesel vehicles that will significantly reduce emissions. Contact your local General Election candidates (Contact details HERE) and the Mayor of London to ask them for their views. If you would like to join Brent FOE or find out more about our campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.