The LSX data showing pollution In Tooting

At the end of November we held a productive meeting about air quality in Tooting, organised in conjunction with Furzedown Low Carbon Zone, London Sustainability Exchange (LSX) and Battersea & Wandsworth TUC. 

This meeting was organised on the back of the citizen science data collected in Tooting’s main roads earlier this year showing levels of NO2 three times the EU limits and PM10 levels twice the EU limit.  Many thanks to the speakers: LSX CEO Samantha Heath, Gavin Steadman, Area Manager for the Environment, Wandsworth Borough Council (WBC) and local Labour councillor Rex Osborn, as well as to all those attended. 

There was a great deal of data to unpick.  We heard that an estimated 29,000 people die prematurely each year in the UK due to air pollution, double the combined effect of alcoholism, obesity and road traffic accidents.  We also found out more about NO2, PM10s and PM2s (PM refers to Particulate matter 10 or 2 microns in diameter) and the effect they have on our health.  For instance 80% of PM10s are caused by road traffic and have been proven to have a direct link to lung cancer. Meanwhile we hope to facilitate giving local residents an opportunity to contribute to WBC’s Air Quality Action Plan due to be put out for consultation in January 2015. We look forward to this and other developments to improve Tooting’s air quality in 2015.

A detailed report on the meeting can be read here while Samantha Heath’s presentation can be accessed here.