One year after Southwark Liberal Democrats revealed dangerous levels of air pollution in Southwark, the latest data shows every monitor in Southwark is still above acceptable levels.
In September 2021, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued guidelines stating that any recording above 10 µg/m3 (concentration of an air pollutant is given in micrograms per cubic meter air) was an unacceptable level of air pollution.
In 2021, 1080 readings were taken from 161 monitoring stations across Southwark. Not a single one of these was below the WHO acceptable level.
The average reading was 33.6 µg/m3, over 3 times higher than acceptable levels.
One reading, taken in September on Westminster Bridge Road, was 67.1 µg/m3 – nearly 7 times over safe levels of air pollution.
One monitor on Tower Bridge had an average over the year of 55.4 µg/m3, the highest of any monitor in the borough.
This data coincides with new research from Imperial College London that reveals the extent of health impacts from air pollution to people of all ages.
The research details how air pollution adversely affects health from birth, through childhood and all the way to adulthood.
Leader of the Southwark Liberal Democrats Cllr Victor Chamberlain said, “One year ago, our group revealed the dangerous level of air pollution. Sadly, this latest data shows there has been no improvement and residents of all ages are still at great risk. Sadiq Khan claims he wants to tackle air pollution, yet he seems determined to cancel much needed bus routes and build a new motorway under the Thames.
To clean our air we need investment in the right areas – public transport and active travel. Hopefully Southwark Labour and Sadiq Khan now see the urgency of the situation we face. If we make the right choices we can save lives.”
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