Citizen scientists find air quality limits breached across Hackney

A group of volunteer citizen scientists working with Hackney Green Party have uncovered breaches of air quality limits in eight places out of eleven tested sites across Hackney.

They measured NOx - a chemical associated with combustion engines and traffic. NOx can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems such as asthma. It has also been linked to other conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, dementia, and cancer.

The eight places where air quality fell below the limits set by the European Commission in 2010 are:

  • Median Rd, E5
  • Victoria Park Rd, E9
  • Urswilk Rd/St John's Church Rd, E9
  • Martello St, E8
  • Middleton Rd/Kingsland Rd, E8
  • Kynaston Gardens, N16
  • Millfield Community School, E5
  • Felstead Street shops, E9

Two further areas were nearly at the limit:

  • Gransden Avenue
  • The Garden School

Just one place was under the limit. This was Mare Street, near the Hackney Empire.

The discovery comes as the Government was forced to release its air quality action plan after losing a court battle to keep it secret until after the 8th June elections.

Hackney North and Stoke Newington PPC, Alastair Binnie-Lubbock said:
“What we’re uncovering is a public health crisis, and nothing is being done about it because it’s invisible. We’re being exposed to illegal levels of air pollution on a daily basis and 9,000 people are dying yearly because of the crisis in London.

Young people are the worst affected as their lungs are forming and this exposure will leave them scarred for life. It’s most shocking to see the levels of pollution right by schools. So much for an olympic legacy; playgrounds are full of harmful gas and particulates."

Hackney South and Shoreditch PPC, Rebecca Johnson said

“We should be proud of our citizen scientists for taking the initiative to expose these killer pollutants.” said Dr Rebecca Johnson, Green Party candidate for Hackney South and Shoreditch. “Hackney Greens demand action at the highest levels. Voting Green will strengthen pressure for more investment in clean air policies, from encouraging walking and cycling, to investment in public transport, electric vehicles and introduction of a Vehicle Excise Duty for new diesel vehicles combined with incentives to scrap diesel in favour of cleaner transport alternatives.”

If you're interested in becoming a Citizen Scientist contact us at: contactus@hackney.greenparty.org.uk