Meeting with JCDecaux

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Thursday 3 August 2017 Air Quality Brentford met with JCDecaux, TfL and Hounslow Council at the Outdoor Advertising Company’s prestigious Art Deco offices on the Golden Mile. We discussed the possibility of using their advertising space in downtime to raise awareness of the unnecessary pollution caused by idling cars. JCDecaux already use standard stop-start technology on their vehicle fleet and train their drivers to switch off their engines when at a standstill for vehicles without this technology, both for environmental and economic benefit. They have 4 electric vehicles which they plan to increase by a further 6 in the coming year. Continue reading

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Sustainability Summit at Kew House School

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30 June 2017 We attended a Sustainability Summit at Kew House School, organised by InterClimate Network, a charity who work with secondary school students to inspire them to take action in Climate Change, asking ‘What can I do to make a difference?’. Schools involved were Kew House, Gumley House, Isleworth Boys and Hammersmith Academy. Guest speaker Dr Michal Nachmany (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE) was inspirational, and not just for the students. She discussed how as humans we become addicted to our lifestyles, even if we know it’s bad for us. Plastics, use of electricity, animal products (making 1/4 of emissions in the world) are difficult to step away from. The most vulnerable populations in the world are the most effected by climate change. There is a need for a) Regulation, b) Motivation, what makes people want to change and c) Alternatives.

Air Quality Brentford went along with members of BRAG (Brentford Recycling Action Group) to lead mini-workshops to discuss issues of Air Quality and Recycling, alongside others discussing Transport and Resources. It was a wonderful afternoon and the brainstorming ideas from the pupils were a joy to witness, see above. We hope to work further with these schools in the Autumn term, giving our air quality mini-talk, and look forward to helping them put their actions in to practice to help make our air cleaner.

Inspiring front gardens

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June 2017 We might not all have the luxury of a front garden but adding greenery to the front of our houses and flats, even in a window box, is one way of helping to combat air pollution. Continue reading

How do we get clean air for all Londoners?

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22 March 2017
That was the question posed by Caroline Russell last night at a content-packed meeting of over 80 representatives from every London borough. There were informed mini-presentations from Simon Birkett @CleanAirLondon, Prof Frank Kelly (Kings College), Alice Monroe (Doctors Against Diesel) @DieselDrs, Louise Francis @Mapping4Change, Andrea Lee @Client Earth, Prof Andrea Seller @Sellerthechemist, Lara Houston and Dr Jennifer Gabrys @citizensense.

All the participants lived outside the proposed ULEZ extension zone of the North and South Circular and were fully aware of very high measurements of NO2 and Particulate Matter polluting their air quality. ‘We want to breathe clean air too’ and this won’t happen without change. Last night we investigated ways that we can encourage more people to sign the petition to extend the ULEZ to the whole of Greater London: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/extend-the-ultra-low-emission-zone-to-the-whole-of-london Continue reading

A closer look at Brentford’s air pollution

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Air Quality Brentford are taking a closer look at the results from the air quality recorded at the A4/Glenhurst Road monitor. The results are available for all to see at http://www.airqualityengland.co.uk, select LB Hounslow and create graph. We think it’s important for more local residents to be aware of the high peaks in NO2 and PM10 emitted by diesel vehicles throughout the day. To help raise awareness we are making our own screengrabs of the results and publishing these on twitter every day @agreenerlondon

Air quality is measured as an annual average and the legal annual average for Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is 40 ugm and hourly there should be no more than 18 exceedances of 200 ugm per year. The legal annual average for Particulate Matter (PM10) is 40 ugm-3 and over a 24 hour period no more than 35 exceedances in a year over 50 µg m-3.

The example above shows the results for 9 March, a beautifully sunny day but the levels of NO2 only dipped below 40ugm at 4am and midnight – this is however still legal as the limit hasn’t gone over 200ugm. This toxic gas is invisible but you can probably smell or taste it in the air. Both Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter are harmful to humans, these very small particles are breathed in to the lungs and even enter the bloodstream affecting our immune system, and we need to start taking a little more notice of these very high levels of pollution. The levels of Particulate Matter on this day were illegal as they were over 50ugm.