Brentford Group Seeks Cleaner Air

13 October 2016: Group to campaign for local improvements to air quality (TW8 article)
A group of like-minded Brentford residents, with the support of Ruth Cadbury MP, is trying to make some positive changes to the poor air quality in TW8. Stage 2 of the Mayor’s consultation on London’s air pollution has just opened and the group encourages people to help stand up for Brentford.

A spokesperson for the group says: “We have to put up with the major arterial roads of the A4 and M4 running through our highly residential area. Unfortunately the advice to purchase diesel vehicles a few years ago hasn’t helped with the increase in pollution. Around 50% of cars in London have diesel engines, and many people don’t realise how toxic the exhaust from their diesel cars actually is.”

Diesel vehicles produce Nitrogen Dioxide and tiny invisible particles called PM10s. Both of these substances inflame the lungs and increase the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable as their lungs are still developing – it is an alarming and little known fact that NO2 can permanently stunt lung growth.
Monitoring in Brentford from Air Quality England for Hounslow Council shows that levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) often far exceed that which is safe and legal.

NO2 levels are even worse inside cars.  “You may think you are protected in a car, but even where the air is particularly bad, it is still healthier to cycle or walk than drive. Something for parents to consider when doing the school run.”Here are some things we can do to make positive change in Brentford:

– Swap our diesel cars for modern petrol/hybrid or electric models
Or, even better, use feet or bikes (let’s not forget that petrol cars are a major cause of pollution too, and contribute to climate change)
– Grow more trees and green vegetation along the A4/M4
Trees and shrubs are great pollution-scrubbers and act as screens
– Persuade Transport for London to fast-track emission-free (electric) buses through Brentford
There are none at the moment – all our buses are diesel
– Demand that Brentford is included in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
This is due to be in place in 2019/20 and will restrict diesel vehicles through charging. But Brentford may fall outside the zone. Take part in stage 2 of the Mayor’s consultation at Air Quality Phase 2 Consultation
– Tell friends and neighbours about air pollution
Many people are unaware of the risks. NO2 and PM10s are toxic – but invisible.

Expansion at Heathrow will increase traffic congestion, and therefore air pollution.
The group is growing and planning a public event soon. It is also seeking people with specific skills like web-design, events organisation etc. If you’d like to help make a change for the better please send your contact details including your address to airqualitybrentford@hotmail.com
Air Quality Brentford is a voluntary group of local Brentford residents helping to improve air quality and tweets at @agreenerlondon
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