London’s illegal air: here’s the shocking scope of pollution in the capital

Researchers find illegal levels across the board

Eight out of nine areas surveyed in London had illegally high pollution levels, according to researchers.

A project run by University College London found the city breached EU limits for nitrogen dioxide in all but one area it tested.

Marylebone was the worst area for this type of pollution, which is produced by diesel vehicles and linked to respiratory illnesses.

The researches gave kits to community groups to test the air quality in their area and found even suburban areas tested double the EU limit.

Matthew Pencharz, deputy mayor for environment and energy, told the BBC: “NO2 remains a problem. We have now seen a 12% reduction in measured NO2 across London showing we are making real progress.”

A total of 9,500 people a year die from air pollution in the capital, according to Kings College London, making it the second most common cause of death after smoking.


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