Filthy air in London parks

More than one quarter of London’s parks, playgrounds, and open spaces exceed international safety limits for air quality, according to a recent analysis by Imperial College and the University of Leicester.

In response to the findings, the team has launched an interactive website which lets people put in their postcode to check their local green spaces to get information about average annual NO2 levels – the ‘safe’  limit is 40 µg/m³.

Five of the 10 most polluted parks in London were found in Westminster, and the worst air quality was found to be Victoria Embankment Gardens (annual average NO2 59.7 µg/m3) and Parliament Square Gardens (58.7 µg/m3). The Bloomsbury squares vary from 45 µg/m3 (Cartwright Gardens, less through traffic) to 48 µg/m3 (Bloomsbury Square, which has an undergound carpark), with the more southerly Red Lion Square (on a busy route) on 50.7 µg/m3.

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