3 March 2017
Ben Hickey, Islington Green Party Member, writes; "No matter where we live in Islington, the air we all breathe is now heavily polluted, even on quieter side streets. Children, old people and those with existing medical conditions such as asthma are especially likely to be affected. Thousands of people are now estimated to die each year in London due to our dirty air.
This last week, Islington Green Party held a public meeting to discuss the issue and encourage residents to get involved with measuring air pollution levels in their neighbourhoods. The first part of tackling the issue is to understand where the ‘hotspots’ are and then see what can be done to improve the air through, for example, rerouting traffic, temporarily closing roads for so-called play streets to protect children’s lungs and properly enforcing the borough’s anti-idling policy so vehicles are not stationary with engines running.
Simple measuring devices called diffusion tubes are now being installed by residents around the borough to measure nitrogen dioxide levels. Citizen science allows us to understand more about the air we breathe so we can work together to tackle it.
Only two weeks ago, the EU issued the UK with a final warning to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels or face the European courts. Our government must do more but also so must all of Islington.
We are encouraging residents to come forward and volunteer to sponsor and install pollution tubes in their area and help us improve the air we all breathe."
If you want to know more or get involved, contact us.
This letter was first published in the Islington Tribune on 3rd March 2017.