The DPNF have joined the Camden’s Air Quality Action Plan by linking up with community members to establish air monitoring at hotspots in the area. Nitrogen dioxide emissions, mostly from diesel cars, cause 23,500 of the 40,000 premature deaths from air pollution each year, according to government data. In April last year MPs said air pollution was a public health emergency.
The following document gives an overview of the project and links to the current UK Air Quality Strategy (2007) objectives https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/National_air_quality_objectives.pdf.
If a local authority finds any area where these objectives are unlikely to be achieved it must declare it an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and put together an action plane to improve air quality. Camden’s Air Quality Action Plan was published in 2016 https://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/cms-service/stream/asset/?asset_id=3478895&
Camden monitors hotspots across the borough and initiated the Camden Community Air Monitoring Programme to enable a wider monitoring network.
Clean Air monitoring on Gordon House Road
Air monitoring diffusion tubes on Highgate Road
The DPNF has established diffusion tubes between the railway tunnels on Gordon House Road walking towards Gospel Oak Station and Gospel Oak School. And also on Highgate Road close to Parliament Hill School, William Ellis and La Saint Union. The locations will monitor the level of pollution that impact students travelling to and from school on a daily basis.
John Slater and Robert Mitchell of Brookfield Mansions have set up monitors at four sites around Swain’s Lane:
1. Junction of Swain’s Lane with Highgate West Hill,
2 Junction of Swain’s Lane with Hillway
3 Junction of Swain’s Lane with Chester Road
4. Outside Brookfield Primary on Chester Road
Key air pollutants
The key air pollutants in Camden are NO2 and particulate matters (mainly PM10 and PM2.5), and to a lesser extent sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO). These pollutants arise from road traffic, gas boilers, and other sources. Air pollution levels are monitored using a number of different instruments some basic, such as diffusion tubes and some complex, such as the fixed monitoring stations.
As a participant of the Community Air Monitoring Programme, we will be measuring the levels of NO2 present in the area we have chosen. NO2 is produced when fossil fuels are combusted for purposes such as powering vehicles. The European Union legal limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air (40μg/m3).
NO2 is strongly linked with emphysema, bronchitis, and heart disease. Overloading of nitrogen has also been connected with the degradation of sensitive habitats and deteriorating biodiversity. It is therefore important the causes and effects of NO2 production is understood and awareness is raised of ways to reduce exposure.
For more information, follow this link https://opendata.camden.gov.uk/stories/s/Camden-Air-Quality-Monitoring/bmrm-k7pv
To find out about the range of actions being taken across the borough visit https://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/environment/green-camden/air-quality/