In autumn of 2016 TTKK, TW and QPARA monitored the pollution levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2 – indicated by the circles) and particulates (indicated by the diamonds) in the Kilburn, Queen’s Park, Willesden and Cricklewood area, with the help of London Sustainability Exchange.

For the period measured the majority of NO2 measurements were over the European Union legal limit for humans of 40 µg/m3 (everything in yellow and upwards).  A few were more than double the legal limit! Whilst the particulate measurements look better, we were sceptical as to whether the monitoring device was fully operational.  What is quite clear is that our area has pollution problems and we therefore need to take immediate action to improve our air.

In late 2015, with the help of Client Earth, Kensal Rise Residents’ Association had undertaken a separate monitoring exercise for NO2 along Chamberlayne Road, and the measurement was critically in exceedance of 40 μg/m3. According to Brent Council’s monitoring data, Chamberlayne Road’s NO2 measurement for the period of January to July 2016 was 70.95 μg/m3.

The map below illustrates the measurements from autumn 2016:

Brent AQ Map All Groups 20170127

Results map

Main pollutants

• Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
o Source – fossil fuel combustion
o Health concerns –irritation of the lungs, increased chance or respiratory
infection, lung disease, increase in asthma attacks, chronic bronchitis.
• Particulate matter (PM) – Particulate matter is classified under two sizes:
o PM10 are less than 10 micrometres (μg) in diameter. These are small
enough to get into our lungs.
o PM2.5 are less than 2.5 μg in diameter. These are so small that they can
pass through the lungs into the blood, causing further heart problems.
o To give an idea of scale, an average human hair is a 100 times thicker
than a PM10 particle.
o Source – fossil fuel combustion, particularly of diesel /coal                                                   o Health concerns – premature death in people with heart/lung disease,
increases in heart attacks, decreased lung function, difficulty breathing,
coughing, irritation of the airways.