Warning Made to Joggers in Boston Manor Park

Pollution spikes to levels above anywhere else in London

Boston Manor Park. Picture: Google Streetview

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Residents around Hounslow’s Boston Manor Park have been warned not to go jogging after a spike in pollution gave it the worst air quality in London.

The warning comes from independent air quality monitor Tim Webb, after website Air Quality England reported high levels of pollutant particles over the weekend and today, Monday, June 3.

Mr Webb said he only saw levels so high “once in a blue moon”, and said the cause could be anything from people having barbecues in the park, roadworks, construction or a leak of some kind.

Equipment malfunction was another possibility, though an unlikely one, he said.

Hounslow Council say that equipment being used to set up the Junction 2 Festival is the reason for the spike.

Clean Air in London spokesman Simon Birkett said the level of air pollution, if confirmed, would be a health concern.

Mr Birkett was not familiar with the location, but recommended the operators of the monitoring station check it without delay.

Hourly spikes in PM10 particulate matter is very concerning, one air quality monitor said. Source: airqualityengland.co.uk

The level on Monday afternoon for particulate matter is recorded as a 7 out of ten, meaning high, with figures suggesting hourly levels reached as high as 350 micrograms per metre-cubed on Saturday.

The 24-hour average sits at 75 micrograms per metre-cubed, according to airqualityengland.co.uk, which is well above the WHO recommended upper limit of 50 micrograms.

Other areas in Hounslow are showing lower levels – usually below 30 micrograms.

A second tracking website, airvisual.com, shows spikes at 10am on Sunday and 11am on Monday, with far lower spikes of around 170 micrograms.

Hourly air pollution reading shows particulate matter going well about WHO guidelines in Boston Manor Park. Source: airvisual.com

Mr Webb advised those in the Boston Manor Park area to avoid exercising in the park, with PM10 particulate matter often being an irritant, and potentially harmful to those with respiratory illnesses.

Hounslow Council have issued a statement saying, "It has come to our attention that the Air Quality England website reported high levels of pollutant particles at Boston Manor Park in Brentford over the weekend and on Monday 3 June. We are advised that this is likely due to the large-scale set-up for the Junction 2 music event, taking place on the 7-8 June. Organisers have been using power generators and heavy goods vehicles to set up for the event, giving rise to large-scale dust. Particulate matter pollution was measured at one of the borough’s air monitoring station located close to Boston Manor Park.

“We would advise that residents avoid the area of Boston Manor Park where the work is taking place while particulate matter levels are at a high level.

“However, the current rainfall in the borough will remedy much of the increased pollution since it washes away particulate matter and can also wash out pollutants that are dissolvable”

“You can receive air quality alerts by signing up to our free airTEXT service, which sends alerts via SMS text, voicemail message or email when pollution levels are higher than normal for Hounslow. The website provides air quality, UV, pollen and temperature forecasts for the Borough, warns if high pollution is forecast, and provides health advice. For further information and to sign up please see: http://www.airtext.info or text ‘AirTEXT Hounslow’ to 78070”

Mayor’s Office has been approached for comment.

Ruth Cadbury MP has called on the Government to take urgent action to tackle the air pollution crisis that is engulfing London. Ruth said,

‘‘This air pollution warning in Boston Manor Park should be a wakeup call for the Government. As someone who loves running it’s terrible that the crisis has gotten so bad that we can’t even exercise in our own parks.

"I’ve been warning the government for years about the impact that air pollution is having on our communities. It kills 40,000 people prematurely each year, and we know it’s extremely damaging for young people across the capital.

"Whilst Sadiq Khan has taken great steps to tackle air pollution in London, such as introducing the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which will cut pollution by 45%, it’s clear we need national action from the Government.

"Rather than offering the usual warm words, the Government can start by scrapping Heathrow’s expansion whilst funding green transport links such as cycling infrastructure, and green vehicles.

"If we fail to act we will keep seeing more and more stories like this.’’

Written with contributions from Ged Cann - Local Democracy Reporter


June 5, 2019

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