Story and photo by Graham Jones
Poor air quality is an invisible but massive problem. In the UK as many people die from diseases related to air pollution every year as have died from Covid-19.
In our area motor traffic is the main cause of deadly pollution. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has established that deaths rates from Covid-19 have generally been higher in polluted areas.
We particularly suffer from the thousands of cars that travel to the Northern General Hospital each day.
Members of the Burngreave Clean Air Campaign do monthly monitoring of nitrogen dioxide which at six sites in Burngreave. Usually five of these sites have levels of pollution which are near or above the legal maximum.
For the first time our May 2020 our figures were all within legal limits. However, our most recent results show that levels of NO2 were climbing fast and we think they will be back at and above illegal levels in October 2020 with the return to schools and many workplaces.
We must demand that the council implement a programme to improve air quality, not just in the city centre and business districts, but in the places where we actually live.
The government have been prepared to spend massive amounts on the Covid emergency.
It is time to allocate resources to deal with the ongoing air pollution emergency too. If you would like more information, please visit Burngreave Clean Air Campaign’s Facebook page or receive or regular emails firstname.lastname@example.org