Poor air quality is one of the greatest risks to human health.
The quality of London’s air is dangerously – and illegally – poor. And Merton is no exception.
By 2021, we want to see an improvement in air quality around schools and key pollution hotspots in Merton, so that residents can breathe cleaner air.
We want those affected by poor air quality to understand the health benefits of breathing cleaner air for themselves and their children, and to change their behaviour to improve air quality in the borough.
It starts with you and me.
By working together to tackle air pollution in Merton, our combined actions will make a difference in the fight for cleaner air.
Be part of the solution
It is up to all of us to take local action to clean up Merton's air to protect our health and the environment.
Pollution in Merton comes from a variety of sources, with the primary local sources being from road transport and from buildings and new developments.
Air pollution is real.
Air pollution is recognised as a major contributor to poor health across the whole of the UK, with an estimated annual health cost to society of £54 billion.
Along with many London boroughs, Merton has several air quality black spots where levels of poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon particulates regularly exceed EU guidelines for clean air, and this dangerous situation will not solve itself.
Of all sections of our society, the most vulnerable to pollution related illness are the young, the elderly, and people with heart and respiratory conditions. Children are particularly at risk due to their smaller lung capacity and proximity to vehicles exhausts, subjecting them to long term health problems such as asthma and COPD.
The main challenge is that the majority of people don’t know about the risks to their health, what causes it, or how to reduce their exposure to it.
In February 2017, the Guardian published a piece of research that revealed all schools in London are in areas that exceed the European legal limits of nitrogen dioxide pollution, and the table reveals that Merton schools are high up in the league.