Councillor joins Levenshulme parents to call for Clean Air Everywhere
Dozens of parents and residents in Levenshulme gathered at the Inspire community centre this weekend (Saturday 16 Sept) to discuss the problem of air pollution in the neighbourhood. They were joined by Councillor Dzidra Noor, Levenshulme ward councillor, and volunteers from Manchester Friends of the Earth.
The event heard about shocking results of air pollution monitoring carried out by local parents in the south Manchester neighbourhood over the summer, which showed residential roads throughout the area had air pollution that would breach annual legal limits. This included near schools and nurseries, including Chapel Street Primary School on Barlow Road and Littleways Nursery on Albert Road.
The Levenshulme investigation started after local parents became concerned about air pollution and possible links to common breathing problems locally – including high incidences of wheezing and use of inhalers amongst babies and toddlers. They installed monitoring tubes at six locations where levels of air pollution were considered to be worrying. All six monitoring tubes showed levels of pollution above 40 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre), that would be above the legal limit if they were annual figures. One air pollution recording at Stockport Road and Matthews Lane was almost twice the legal level, hitting 72.41 ug/m3. (1)
The pollution was monitored for two weeks, providing a snapshot of NO2 pollution for that time. NO2 is a toxic gas which inflames the lining of the lungs. Children, the elderly and those with existing health conditions are most vulnerable to air pollution. (2) The legal annual limit for NO2 is 40 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) but there are no safe levels of exposure to air pollution.
Levenshulme resident Liane Marsh, who is part of the parents group who carried out the pollution monitoring, said:
“The illegal levels of air pollution is terrifying, especially when it causes 40,000 early deaths a year up and down the country. You can smell car fumes when out walking with the buggy and it feels awful to think you are pushing your child through a cloud of pollution. It is essential that there is no further development in Levenshulme, more trees need to be planted, and traffic reduction measures need to be taken.”
For more information on the campaign please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 07940 006783
Notes for Editors
Full nitrogen dioxide diffuse tube monitoring results:
|Grange School, Matthews Lane, M12 4GR||40.16|
|114 Barlow Road M19 3EF (nr Chapel St school)||42.24|
|Littleways nursery, 80 Albert Road M19 2FU||51.50|
|256 Broom Lane, M19 3NA (nr Barlow Rd traffic lights)||61.57|
|847 Stockport Road M19 3PW (at Albert Rd crossroad)||70.16|
|709 Stockport Road M19 3AG (nr Matthews Lane crossroad)||72.41|
The results are from diffusion tube monitoring and provide a snapshot of the air pollution for the time and places that were monitored. They are not directly comparable to annual data, because over a year the weather varies considerably and level of air pollution with it, so the annual mean results could look very different. However, Manchester City Council’s annual monitoring station on Stockport Road also shows levels over the legal limit of 40 ug/m3 and therefore illegal levels of pollution is supported by official council data.
2. Air pollution costs lives and billions of pounds. It is one of the UK’s biggest killers, causing 40,000 early deaths in the UK every year. Dirty air leads to worsening asthma symptoms, heart disease and even lung cancer. Air pollution has even been associated with changes in the brain linked to dementia and can lead to children growing up with smaller lungs. For more information please see What are the effects of air pollution? https://www.foe.co.uk/clean-air and https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution