Schools Monitoring Project Spring 2017

We monitored the pollution outside all of Camden’s schools from 24th February – 20th May 2017!

The aim of this study is to see just how bad the air is that our children breathe: the latest report from TfL/King’s College London suggests that at least 80% of Camden school children are breathing illegal air.

The results can be accessed here. RData.csv is the consolidated data in comma separated value format. The individual lab reports from each round are in excel format and Rplots.pdf  contains a simple graphical analysis of the data. We shall be publishing our take on the results soon.

We crowdfunded the first round of monitoring, which saw us install 97 diffusion tubes across the borough on the 24th and 25th of February. Rounds 2 and 3 were funded by Camden Council, comprising 100 diffusion tubes, giving us a whole quarter’s worth of data. Round 2 started on the 24th and 25th of March. Round 3 started on the  21st and 22nd of April and ended on the 19th and 20th of May.


More information on air pollution monitoring in Camden and diffusion tubes

Kentish Town Particulate Matter Monitoring Project July 2016

By: Ian Grant

Following up on a press release for a high-quality Particulate Matter monitor for construction sites, a request was put in to review it.

The construction monitor was double booked, so as a favour, TSI loaned a handheld indicative, spot check monitor – the Dusttrak DRX 8534. The legal standard is based on continuous monitors and gravimetric technology which the National Air Quality Network and DEFRA uses. The model we had uses light source technology and is used for comparisons, and to highlight trouble spots and areas which need more investigation. A previous meeting with a Kings College air pollution specialist said that TSI was a good reliable brand – but also that there were unreliable brands on the market. Continue reading

Air pollution monitoring in Camden

According to a chilling 2015 study by King’s College London, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), combined with fine particles in the air, kills nearly 9,500 Londoners each year – 264 of those deaths are in Camden. NOharms our lungs, heart and circulation and is especially dangerous to children, the elderly and people suffering from asthma and other lung conditions.

The World Health Organisation and the European Union have concluded that breathing air with an average annual concentration of more than 20 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre (20µg/m³) is potentially harmful. The EU has set a legal limit of 40µg/m³, however many of Britain’s towns and cities exceed this level and the British government has been taken to court because it does not have adequate plans to bring levels within legal limits by 2020.

We wanted to find out whether air we breathe in Camden is toxic, so Camden Air Action worked with Camden Green Party and local residents to measure NO2 pollution across the borough. Monitoring started in November 2015 at more than 50 locations around Highgate, Hampstead, Kentish Town and Gospel Oak during November and December 2015. Since then, a similar number of sites have been monitored in Primrose Hill, Frognal, King’s Cross and Holborn, with more planned. Continue reading

Check out pollution levels in YOUR neighbourhood with ‘citizen science’

While Camden has four big monitoring stations tracking air pollution levels on major roads, and monitors air quality on some other busy streets, it is action by local communities that is giving us the picture of pollution levels on local streets. ‘Citizen Science’ air monitoring is a scientifically approved and analysed way to establish air pollution levels around local homes, schools and shopping streets. Camden Air Action is linking up with resident groups and Neighbourhood Forums, and with Camden Green Party who have led the way on local air quality monitoring in Camden. We now have readings for Kentish Town, Dartmouth Park, Gospel Oak, Belsize Park, Hampstead, Highgate, Swiss Cottage, with Primrose Hill readings expected soon. As well as adding to pollution mapping in the borough, getting involved in air monitoring is an effective way to get informed and start to take action.