News from Jenny Jones AM: Deaths linked to vehicle emissions rise in half of London boroughs

6 November 2013

According to data published yesterday by Public Health England[i] the percentage of deaths attributed to tiny particles (PM2.5) spewed out from mostly vehicle exhaust rose in fifteen London boroughs in 2011, compared to the previous year. The remaining London boroughs either saw a small decrease or no appreciable change. According to the Policy Exchange[ii], 91per cent of Particulate Matter (PMs) come from diesel vehicles making it the worst source of air pollution in London.  Between 2000 and 2011, Greater London has 360,000 more registered diesel cars[iii].

Research has shown that living near roads travelled by 10,000 or more vehicles per day where particulate matter occurs in high concentrations could be responsible for 15-30 per cent of all new cases of asthma in children, for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and coronary heart disease in adults 65 years of age and older[iv].

London Assembly Member Jenny Jones said:

“It is extremely disappointing that so many Londoners are being exposed to even higher levels of pollution from vehicles. The Mayor tells us he is acting to reduce pollution, but whatever he is doing, it's clearly not enough. He must act now to bring effective measures to protect Londoners from excessive, dangerous and illegal levels of vehicular pollution”

“We need more electric vehicles, especially buses and vans, but the simplest solution is to reduce the total amount of traffic on our roads. The two key steps the Mayor needs to take to make this happen are to lower fares and to create a safe space for people to cycle.”   

 

 

Fraction (%) of mortality attributable to Particulate Matter (PM2.5) air pollution

 

London Borough

2010

2011

English average 2011

Barnet

6.80

7.04

5.36

Brent

7.20

7.48

5.36

Camden

7.70

7.91

5.36

Ealing

7.20

7.32

5.36

Enfield

6.60

6.88

5.36

Hackney

7.80

7.96

5.36

Haringey

7.10

7.32

5.36

Harrow

6.40

6.69

5.36

Havering

6.30

6.33

5.36

Hillingdon

6.50

6.86

5.36

Hounslow

7.10

7.13

5.36

Islington

7.90

8.08

5.36

Redbridge

7.00

7.09

5.36

Waltham Forest

7.30

7.38

5.36

Westminster

8.30

8.32

5.36

Source: Public Health England, framework data tool

 

Editors Notes

Jenny is available for interview



[i] Public Health England, Framework Data Tool

http://www.phoutcomes.info/public-health-outcomes-framework#gid/1000043/pat/6/ati/102/page/4/par/E12000007/are/E09000011

‘ Background annual average PM2.5 concentrations for the year of interest (here 2011) are modelled on a 1km x 1km grid using an air dispersion model, and calibrated using measured concentrations taken from background sites in Defra’s Automatic Urban and Rural Network (http://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/interactive-map.) Data on primary emissions from different sources and a combination of measurement data for secondary inorganic aerosol and models for sources not included in the emission inventory (including re-suspension of dusts) are used to estimate the anthropogenic (human-made) component of these concentrations. By approximating LA boundaries to the 1km by 1km grid, and using census population data, population weighted background PM2.5 concentrations for each lower tier LA are calculated. This work is completed under contract to Defra, as a small extension of its obligations under the Ambient Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). Concentrations of anthropogenic, rather than total, PM2.5 are used as the basis for this indicator, as burden estimates based on total PM2.5 might give a misleading impression of the scale of the potential influence of policy interventions (COMEAP, 2012).’

[ii] http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/images/publications/something%20in%20the%20air.pdf

[iii] The percentage of cars licensed in Greater London that use diesel has increased from 6.9% (166,694) to 21% (533,974) between 2000 and 2011 (JJ MQT 1894/2012). This is an increase of 367,280 diesel cars.