New interactive map launched to help Hackney residents see local air quality levels

An interactive map to show Hackney residents what the air quality is like in their local neighbourhood has been launched by the borough council.

It was created in response to Hackney Council’s duty to “review and assess” air quality in the borough and it will measure alongside wider national air quality objectives.

The interactive map shows levels of nitrogen dioxide, (or NO2) – a pollutant produced by burning fuels that is known to cause conditions such as asthma – across a total of 120 sites in the borough.

Green on the map shows levels that have met objectives, orange shows where they have not and blue shows where no data has been collected yet.

The data is collected through an air quality monitor, fitted with multiple sensors in order to detect the different pollutants over the course of the year.

Residents can filter the map through the different colours and monitor site type. Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville called this initiative a “great step forward on data transparency and action on air quality in Hackney”.

The Office for National Statistics has reported that air pollution is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK. The ONS has also stated: “The annual mortality of human-made air pollution in the UK is roughly equivalent to between 28,000 and 36,000 deaths every year”

Hackney was confirmed as one of the least polluted boroughs in 2020 alongside Tower Hamlets, Islington and Southwark. 

Pollution across London boroughs. Pic: the Eco Expert

Efforts are being been made nationwide to reduce air pollution, with guidance on how to reduce pollution in your local area as well as the introduction of low emissions zones and LTN’s (low traffic neighbourhoods).

Climate Action has said: “Emissions of NO2 in the UK and Europe have continued to decrease as newer road vehicles subject to stricter emission standards enter the fleet and power generation moves away from the use of coal, particularly in the UK.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan aims to reduce this even further with aims of reducing air pollution by 29% by 2050. “This is progress, but we must continue to cut congestion and toxic emissions so that every Londoner can breathe clean air.”

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