It has come as no shock to me that air pollution levels around the M8 motorway and St Patrick’s Primary school in Anderston are above the EU legal limit, according to a Friends of the Earth ‘Clean Air Kit’ test result.
The results were discovered after the test tube was installed outside the school railings for two weeks to test Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels. The tube was then sent off to Friends of the Earth to be tested and came back as 42.2 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre), which is “above the level at which the annual legal limit is set”.
It’s no surprise that not far from Hope Street, recently named Scotland’s most polluted street, air pollution levels are high. Glasgow consistently fails to meet legal limits set by the EU and even at low levels, short term and long term exposure to NO2 can have significant negative health effects.
The results displayed on the map only represent a snapshot of the air pollution for the place and time they were measured but even two weeks of high air pollution levels can be damaging to health, particularly to children and older people. Children are amongst the most vulnerable to the effects of poor air quality, which has been linked to serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease and asthma.
Air pollution has come up time and time again out on the doors, with local residents worried about the effects on their health and well-being. The Greens have a comprehensive plan to tackle air pollution across the City centre, through electrifying the cities buses and taxis, investing 10% of the transport budget on walking and cycling routes, and introducing a low-emission zone to reduce traffic in the city. If elected in May a larger Green Councillor group will also explore the option for a publicly-owned bus company for Glasgow, to see old diesel buses phased out, more affordable fares provided, and to put people over profit.
You can see Friends of the Earth’s pollution map here: