Pollution levels hits high alert in London!

PROTON WHO report graphic

More Urban Innovations Needed!

With more than 3,000 people falling victim each year, the level of pollution in the city of London is causing increased concern. Anti-pollution campaigners continue to demand effective public warnings about the toxic air. The City of London Corporation City Air” app is one of the responses to this outcry, providing alerts and routes to avoid areas of high pollution.

The latest figures have hit the highest “black” alert, showing Westminster to be affected with the worst long-term levels of pollution. Upper Thames Street has also very recently been recorded at a 10/10 level, with prior records showing that this has only happened on three occasions over the past two years.

According to recent figures from Public Health England, fatalities caused by the killer PM2.5 toxic particles is rising in 30 out of 33 boroughs. 2010 figures show that 3,389 lives were being claimed each year, with Kensington and Chelsea affected the most. Scientists say that PM2.5 particles are detrimental, as they are small enough to enter the lungs and the bloodstream.

Diesel engines, agriculture and shipping, along with coal-burning power stations are all major contributors to PM2.5 pollution. The external impact across the continent is also blown into the capital, causing levels to continue to rise.

Alternative methods to combat pollution include hydrogen fuel. Designed with non-polluting fuel cells free of carbon emissions when electricity is generated, implementing such changes within every vehicle would cause the toxic smog clouds to largely disappear.

A report published by the Mayor of London details that toxins external to London are responsible for nearly half of the health issues from air pollution. This includes 75% of cardiovascular hospital admissions connected with PM2.5.

The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy published in 2010 details plans to reduce levels of pollution in the city, with the priority to provide an increased quality of life and health by cleaning up the air.

Due to the continued rise in deaths associated with air pollution, Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King’s College London, has called the current state of affairs a “pressing public health issue”.

Developments such as hydrogen fuel and other methods of clean energy are paving the way for more significant improvements in the fight against pollution. Although a complicated issue, it will require just as much input from large industrial companies as it will individual lifestyle changes – no matter how seemingly small. 

Innovations and initiatives like the Urban Air Quality Hackathon hosted by the Urban Innovation Centre are needed now more than ever in the capital.

Image from: http://www.proton-motor.com/10-shocking-facts-about-pollution
Original article from Proton Motor: http://www.proton-motor.com/pollution-levels-hits-high-alert-in-the-capital/

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