Expanded air quality monitoring network

The first of four new automatic air quality monitoring stations has been installed by Hackney Council on Queensbridge Road, in an expansion of its existing air quality monitoring network.

Providing live monitoring of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter pollution, the new stations join a 150-strong network of diffusion tube monitors already in place across the borough.

Unlike the diffusion tubes, which take an average of nitrogen dioxide pollution over the year, the new monitoring stations allow pollution data to be viewed in real-time.

They also measure particulate matter pollution – tiny particles emitted predominantly by motor vehicles and by burning wood and coal – which are known to exacerbate respiratory health conditions such as asthmas and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular problems.

The monitors are being installed close to roads but in places where people spend time so that the potential health impacts from road traffic can be observed.

Data from the borough’s extensive monitoring network shows that there was a reduction in air pollutant concentrations at almost all locations in 2020, with NO2 readings below air quality objectives at almost all sites in the borough. The automatic monitors will help to monitor trends in NO2 and particulate matter pollution in real-time, so the Council can check that reductions in NO2 concentrations in 2020 are being replicated.

They will also provide data that the Council includes in its annual reports and will help the Council to assess progress with delivery of the borough’s Air Quality Action Plan.


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