How polluted is the air that you and your family breathe?
Air pollution is the biggest cause of early deaths in Britain, after smoking. It’s an invisible killer, so you aren’t even aware that you’re breathing it in.
Croydon, with its two urban motorways and the ever-busy A23 Purley Way, is already known for suffering from particularly badly polluted air. And it could soon get worse, once the incinerator at Beddington Lane, which we are all paying for, cranks up and starts pumping out its clouds of particulates and dirt, 24/7.
Not that the local authority, nor City Hall under London Mayor Boris Johnson, have done much to reduce levels of air pollution in Croydon.
In fact, they’ve gone out of their way to minimise and disguise the true extent of air pollution: the monitoring station on George Street was “offline” for months, while it was being re-positioned. And re-positioned from next to the tram lines (subtly removed from the worst of the Wellesley Road motor traffic) to a point over the top of the Croydon Underpass, so that the only traffic passing close by is the occasional bus.
On the Purley Way, the monitoring station was deliberately screened from the main road behind hoardings for a couple of years – another ruse which will potentially have reduced the amount of the pollution and particulates which the station should be measuring. Soon to be the site of a large primary academy, the authorities are so concerned about the air quality on the Purley Way that they have agreed that millions of pounds of tax-payers’ money is to be spent hermetically sealing the school from the exhaust fume-filled outside air.
Now, you have an opportunity of measuring the air quality outside your own home.
Friends of the Earth are developing a simple piece of air monitoring technology which anyone can use. And they are asking for volunteers to trial it.
And Inside Croydon would like to hear from its loyal reader when they have signed up and used the monitor to find out what you have discovered about the air quality on your street.
Remember to email Inside Croydon (address below), once you have your device, with your findings, dates and your postcode (so that we might map the results).
In the meantime, take a look at this animation from the South London Plume Plotter, which shows the (predicted) state of pollution from the planned incinerator at Beddington Lane over the course of a few hours.
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