Updates from September, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Adam Hardy 10:01 pm on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Bringing #PocketLab to Islington to measure local air pollution! 

    PocketLab are bringing out a hand-held air pollution monitor:

    PocketLab Air is an all-in-one science lab for invetigating climate change and air pollution in your environment. PocketLab Air can measure carbon dioxide, ozone, particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM10), temperature, humidity, barometic pressure, and light. We’ve designed PocketLab Air to be capable enough for a climate and air quality researchers but simple enough for a 4th grade student learning about Earth science.

    I have placed my pre-order. They said September on their kickstarter project which finished the funding round in December, now they’re saying “Fall”.

  • Adam Hardy 10:04 am on September 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , health, lbislington, ,   

    @IslingtonLB and others should stop use of #glyphosate 

    … and not replace it with the next product from Monsanto whose claims that it is safe are only backed up by their multi-million dollar legal department.

    CNN: Monsanto now paying millions to victims of glyphosate exposure

    I don’t actually read CNN but this is the first coverage of it I found. Roundup (glyphosate) is used extensively throughout the UK by councils, the railways etc. We all have it in our bodies and due to the way it is used agriculturally just before harvest, it is in all our foodstuffs and comes out in our urine (fortunately, compared to other chemicals with accumulate).

    Brought to my attention via Riverford veggie box blog:



  • Adam Hardy 10:40 pm on January 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    New NO2 #airquality stats by postcode from BBC website – Marylebone Rd worst in UK, then Hyde Park Corner 

    EarthSense have put together a model with NO2 data for the BBC – put in a postcode and find out on a scale from 0 to 7 how bad it is.

    I thought it was interesting to check places by postcode but I’m not sure how it’s done. It says the railway bridge over Seven Sisters Road is just ‘lightly polluted’ although at the same time “there is a strong chance of nitrogen dioxide levels exceeding the annual legal limit” – slight contradiction!

    • Kate Calvert 11:16 pm on January 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, just checked our road which is in the almost best category, and that doesn’t tally with the NO2 readings taken by local groups.

  • Adam Hardy 2:20 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Mayor of London’s latest air quality survey

  • Kate Calvert 9:54 am on November 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: air, GLA, mayor, , school   

    More Than 60 Camden and Islington Primary Schools Suffer Polluted Air 

    A GLA report https://www.london.gov.uk/press-releases/mayoral/hundreds-of-schools-exceed-air-quality-limits has found 33 Islington schools and 36 Camden schools with air which breaches permitted pollution levels. Examples around Pooterland are St Aloysius, Grafton School, St Joseph’s, Acland Burghley, Camden School for Girls, La Sainte Union, and Parliament Hill.

    Let us hope the new mayor takes action swiftly as pollution damages children even more than it does adults.

  • Adam Hardy 1:20 pm on October 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Greenpeace, London Mayor   

    Join the campaign to urge London Mayor Khan to increase air pollution measures – Greenpeace. 

    Greenpeace campaign

  • Kate Calvert 8:33 am on July 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

    London Air Pollution Survey Closes End July 

    After the stasis of Mr Johnson’s tenure the new mayor is proposing a genuine step change in attitudes to air pollution in the city and there’s a consultation on the suggestions at https://talklondon.london.gov.uk/cleaning-londons-air-pollution. (For a start, no mealy mouthed reference to ‘air quality’ but a title that recognises the need for action.)

    The introductory page https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/environment/pollution-and-air-quality/your-views-how-can-we-clean-our-air notes that

    • 9,416 LONDONERS die early every year because of air pollution
    • £3.7 BILLION is the cost of air pollution to London’s economy
    • 24% PRIMARY SCHOOLS are in areas that breech the legal limit for NO2 (air pollution)
    • You are 2x AS LIKELY TO DIE from lung diseases if you live in deprived vs affluent areas of London

    Suggestions for addressing this include widening the ULEZ (ultra low emission zone) and bringing forward the start dates for such controls, plus various ideas for permanent or temporary closure of roads to vehicles, as well as the idea of a vehicle scrappage scheme, ie paying a fee to owners of polluting vehicles to take them out of circulation.

    There’s also space to add your own ideas which could include

    • Ring fencing the charges for entering the ULEZ to pay for changes to make walking and cycling easier and more attractive
    • Introducing more car club vehicles so those who give up their cars can transfer easily to using shared vehicles
    • Introducing a day-time ban for large vehicles, which as well as being polluting (being diesel) are so dangerous particularly for cyclists.


    • Sydney 2:38 pm on July 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My suggestions will be that we need a step change in encouraging electric vehicles, which means aligning this strategy with easy to access low cost charging network, fuelled by renewable energy – and encouragement for community groups rather than the obstacles that were there for St Annes.

    • Meg Howarth 2:27 pm on July 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply


      Air-pollution is the greatest public-health threat Londoners currently face. Cleaning up the air we breathe must therefore be top of the mayor’s agenda – alongside housing.

      But the city’s toxic air is itself a symptom – of an unsustainable transport system: too much vehicular road traffic of all kinds. All fuels produce toxic byproducts. Deadly diesel may be the major but isn’t the only culprit. Before that it was lead – with children the biggest losers in both cases. The lasting lesson of the successful (worldwide) unleaded-petrol campaign is that the private-car-centric transport model that dominates all our cities, not only London, has replaced one health-damaging product by another. Eliminating diesel is a necessary but insufficient move towards a healthy city.

      A clean-air London needs a huge reduction in the numbers of vehicles of all kinds on the roads – something increasingly recognised across Europe (we haven’t left yet) and elsewhere but thinking entirely absent from Sadiq Khan’s mayoral questionnaire with its fiscal short-termist agenda. Higher prices to drive in the city will hit the poorest and be ignored by the better-off. A publicly funded car-scrappage scheme may help the former towards a less-polluting lifestyle but replacing one vehicle by another won’t produce a healthy population, or a liveable city. Obesity is already a huge personal and social problem.

      Meanwhile the car-fixated transport shapers and shifters falsely promote electric vehicles as emissions-free. While removing toxic exhaust emissions from the air around us, this techno-fix is dependent on CO2-producing electricity.

      A healthy liveable London requires a car-free city and local town-centres. Anything that shirks that responsibility is fiddling.

      It’s not a step change we need but a mental modal shift.

      Footnote: City Hall transport committee chair, Val Shawcross, appears to have got that: this morning she announced the creation of a walking and cycling commissioner.

  • Kate Calvert 2:45 pm on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    So Boris Did Know How Bad the Air Pollution Was 

    A report in the Guardian reveals that Sadiq Khan after less than a week as mayor has unearthed a report on air pollution around primary schools http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/16/boris-johnson-accused-of-burying-study-linking-pollution-and-deprived-schools?CMP=share_btn_link. Presumably the new mayor didn’t actually trawl through the documents himself. More likely some incredibly frustrated officer brought it to his attention pretty much the minute he stepped through City Hall door.

    Bottom line is that 433 schools in the capital are located in areas that exceed EU limits for nitrogen dioxide pollution – and four-fifths of those are in deprived areas. The report itself is at https://www.scribd.com/doc/312760725/Analysing-Air-Pollution-Exposure-in-London?secret_password=UjnUA1OxDIURIebGARhZ (you may need to sign in to read it).

    The article confirms that more than 9,000 people a year in the capital die early from illegal levels of NO2. London has been in breach of the EU NO2 limits since 2010 and is not expected to meet them until 2025. And in January this year parts of London breached annual limits within a week of the year beginning.

    Looks like Simon Birkett of Clean Air in London might be right when he says that Sadiq Khan is coming to London’s rescue in the nick of time.

    • Sydney Charles 3:11 pm on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Shocking. On the legal side I wonder how Sadiq Khans intention to enter into the Client Earth litigation to Defra as an interested party, whilst London was cited as partly responsible will play out. Interesting timing to sue Boris for deliberately causing childrens ill health. (though of course the actual significance of the results are the most important aspect.)

    • susan640 3:28 pm on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Islington’s Copenhagen School is singled out in the Guardian’s article as enduring average NO2 levels of 60.2 micrograms per cubic metre, well above the EU’s objective of 40micrograms, and placing Copenhagen amongst the 20 most affected schools in London.

      I look forward to Boris’ explanation as to why he did not properly publicise the study.

    • Meg Howarth 6:18 pm on May 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wouldn’t put too much store by the new mayor’s promises just yet. The day before what appears like a cover-up, Khan overturned cleared the runway for the expansion of City Airport – by overturning the ban on a CPO (compulsory purchase order) of Royal Docks land. This was his first official policy decision.

      The area around the airport is densely residential, with high levels of already-existing noise-pollution.

  • Kate Calvert 4:10 pm on April 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    More on London Air Quality 

    Now it’s leafy Hampstead’s turn to discover that the rarified air you breath around the Heath is not so rarified at all. NO2 readings have been reported by the Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum at http://www.hampsteadforum.org/airtest.

    The tests found that pollution at locations with heavy traffic, such as Spaniards Inn and the top of Arkwright Road, were approaching double the legal limit of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. That is perhaps to be expected. But even at Viaduct Pond on Hampstead Heath, away from any roads and surrounded by trees, the NO2 level was half the legal limit.

    It really is time for action on London’s Air Quality and Clean Air London is helping with that. As the mayoral candidates release their policy proposals they are being ranked at http://cleanair.london/wp-content/uploads/CAL-325-CAL-ranking-of-Mayoral-candidates_Working-draft-070416.pdf

    As of posting this the ratings are:

    Sian Berry              10

    Caroline Pidgeon  8

    Sadiq Khan            6

    Zac Goldsmith       4.5



    • Meg Howarth 10:04 am on April 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Re mayoral elections: a reminder for those thinking of voting for Sian Berry that it’s possible to do so twice: once as mayor and once as London-wide Assembly Member (she’s top of the Green Party list for latter).

      Earlier this week, she was nominated top of the National Federation of Housing hustings by the deputy editor of Inside Housing, the influential and respected weekly on social-housing matters. Caroline Pidgeon came second, mirroring Clean Air London’s air-quality placings posted by Kate above. Labour, represented by Islington’s James Murray, executive council member for the borough’s housing, came third.

      Why was Murray speaking – as he’s not a candidate in 5 May elections? Because neither Sadiq Khan nor Zac Goldsmith bothered to attend the hustings despite housing topping the list of Londoners’ concerns (air-quality a close second). Seems Khan said he needed to be in HoC to speak/vote (on unaccompanied refugee children) though an Inside Housing analysis of timings shows he could have attended both events – nor, in the end, did he speak in the parliamentary debate.

      And so to the interesting revelation that James Murray is tipped to become ‘deputy mayor for housing’ in the event of a Labour win. How so, as he’s not standing for election? Because the post is a political appointment, not an election position.

      Political patronage is clearly alive and well…

      The (excellent) GLA booklet ‘Have your say’ – with its short manifestos from all candidates – should have dropped through letter-boxes last week. Let’s all think carefully before we vote. This is only a contest between Labour and Tory if we make it so.

  • Adam Hardy 2:18 pm on June 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Government launches £5m clean vehicle fund 


    Looks like Islington could easily get some of this if our streets are anything to go by.

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