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Ealing Friends of the Earth reveal high levels of poor air quality in Hanwell

At last week’s Hanwell Carnival, Ealing Friends of the Earth revealed that poor air quality in Hanwell and across Ealing is up to six times higher than World Health Organisation guidelines.

The environmental group had put a meter scale to display readings from a portable air quality monitor on its stall in Elthorne Park.

A Ealing Friends of the Earth spokesperson explained: ““We made the cardboard display scale go up to 30 which we thought would be more than enough
since that’s six times the World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline. But while most readings were between 20 and 30, we got peaks of well over 50 – way off the scale.”

They added: “We were measuring PM2.5 – particulate matter of 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter. The WHO guideline states that annual average concentrations of PM2.5 should not exceed 5 µg/m3. PM2.5 is a dangerous pollutant because it can penetrate the lung barrier and enter the blood
system, causing cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancers.”

The spokesperson further said: “We want to stress that this was not the fault of the Carnival. Although we had wondered if diesel generators or grilling food at the carnival had pushed up the levels, we got similar high readings elsewhere in Ealing Borough, even in quiet back streets. London-wide pollution monitoring websites also reported very high PM2.5. Only staying indoors with the windows shut would have reduced your exposure somewhat.”

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