First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
Greater London is more than twice over the legal limit for air pollution levels in the UK, according to a study.
Charity ClientEarth says the UK is failing to meet the legal limits of nitrogen dioxide pollution, where the annual average concentration level is 40µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre of air).
Findings show London’s annual mean concentration of 89 µg/m3 is followed by South Wales (62 µg/m3), West Midlands Urban Area (58 µg/m3), Glasgow Urban Area (58 µg/m3) and Tyneside (54 µg/m3).
The study follows figures released by the UK government which revealed that 83% of reporting zones still have illegal levels of air pollution.
These statistics are released as part of a legal requirement under the European Union Ambient Air Quality directive, in which all EU member states must report on levels of a number of pollutants to the European Commission.
ClientEarth’s clean air campaigns and policy manager Andrea Lee says: “Almost 10 years after legal limits should have been met, it is astounding that only seven out of 43 zones have legal levels of air pollution. This is not simply a failure by the government to comply with its legal duties but, most importantly, it is a failure to protect the health of people across the country from toxic air.”
“Local authorities clearly cannot deal with this matter on their own. We need leadership and action on a national scale,” Lee continues. “The government needs to sort this mess and act urgently to tackle this public health crisis. This needs to start with new clean air laws in the upcoming Environment Bill.”