Tuesday 24 January 2017

London On High Alert Very First Time For The Pollution


Warnings are being issued at bus stops, Tube stations and roadsides in the capital, and Mr Khan said everyone from the vulnerable to the physically fit may need to take protections to protect themselves from the ‘filthy air’.

The warning comes as swathes of the UK are suffering from very high or high levels of air pollution from pollutants known as particulate matter or PMs, coming from sources including traffic emissions which are failing to disperse.

According to londonair.org.uk: ‘The long period of cold settled conditions has allowed pollution to build over several days and with no significant change in conditions forecast ‘high’ particulate pollution is expected across with capital with a chance of “very high”.’

Some of the highest readings were taken at St John Cass’s Foundation Pirmary School, the City, Marylebone Road, Swiss Cottage, Euston Road, Bloomsbury, Kensington & Chelsea, Richmond, Ealing, Brent, Enfield, Lambeth, Lewisham, Harrow, Hammersmith & Fulham, Redbridge, Greenwich and Tower Hamlets.

People with children aged between three months and five years are being ordered to stay inside as a result of the widespread toxic air.

Northern Ireland, London, the South East and Eastern regions are experiencing very high levels of the pollutants.

The latest data from the Environment Department’s (Defra) UK Air website also show high levels of air pollution are being seen in the South West, East Midlands, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside.

Air pollution from sources including factories and vehicles, particularly diesel engines, is linked to the early deaths of around 40,000 people a year in the UK – and causes problems such as heart and lung diseases and asthma.

In very high pollution conditions, people are advised to limit exercise outside – while those with lung and heart problems and older people should avoid strenuous activity.

Where there is high air pollution, adults and children with lung problems and adults with heart problems, as well as older people, should reduce the amount of strenuous exercise they do.

High and very high levels of pollution can cause people with asthma to need to use their inhaler more.

In the capital, the London Air Quality Network run by King’s College, London, said the cold, calm and settled conditions over the weekend caused a build up of local emissions from traffic and wood burning, combined with pollution from the continent.

Very high levels of particulates are expected through Monday in London and into Tuesday, with highest levels of pollution expected in the centre of the city and along busy roadsides.

Moderate levels of nitrogen dioxide, another pollutant which affects health, are also expected during the evening rush hour at busy road locations.

When the mayor issued the alerts, four London boroughs were experiencing ‘very high’ levels of pollution, the highest on the scale, while 15 boroughs were seeing high levels of pollution.

Mr Khan said: ‘Today the shameful state of London’s toxic air has meant that I am forced to trigger the first ‘very high’ air pollution alert under my new comprehensive alert system.

‘This is the highest level of alert and everyone – from the most vulnerable to the physically fit – may need to take precautions to protect themselves from the filthy air.

‘Safeguarding the health of Londoners from pollution is my number one priority – and we are implementing the boldest policies of any city in the world to get to grips with the awful problems we inherited.’

He said measures were being brought in to clean up the bus fleet, charging for the dirtiest toxic diesels, which are a significant source of air pollution, and extending the ‘ultra low emission zone’.

But he called on the Government to take action, including introducing a national diesel scrappage scheme, reform vehicle excise duty and bring in a new Clean Air Act to tackle the problem.



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