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Put back air pollution monitor in dirtiest part of city

Bristol Green Party are today demanding that the City Council immediately reinstates an air pollution monitor on Rupert Street that has been removed due to MetroBus roadworks. 

The air-pollution monitor had consistently recorded unsafe and illegal levels [1] of air-pollution with some of the dirtiest air in the city. The Council has removed the monitor [2] saying that it will be replaced “later in the year”.  

Leader of the Green group of councillors Charlie Bolton commented, 

“It is shocking that this administration sees the monitoring of air-quality in the dirtiest part of our city as so unimportant that they could just stop for months while they dig up the city centre. Air pollution is a silent killer which must be taken seriously. Every day the health of children and elderly people is put at risk as they breath dirty air {3}. 

At least 200 people in Bristol die each year from air pollution. Air pollution has been linked with a range of illnesses including asthma, cancer, dementia and heart disease [2]. It causes tens of thousands of deaths a year across the UK.

Friends of the Earth and health charities such as British Lung Foundation are also running campaigns for cleaner air.

Molly Scott Cato, Bristol’s Green MEP, commented, 

“Thousands of Bristol’s children are having their health put at risk due to high levels of air pollution in the city according to the council’s own data. Rupert Street experiences the highest levels of air pollution in Bristol, well above the legal and safe European limits. It is alarming that the council would just turn off this monitoring without sufficient warning”.

In response, Bristol Green Party has launched a launched a public survey on air quality in Bristol.

Jude English, Green Party Councillor for Ashley ward, said

‘We want to hear what people think. We are asking as many people as possible to please complete the survey and give us your views. We want to know whether residents are personally affected by air pollution, whether they would support a Clean Air Zone and whether they want more cycling and walking.”

The online survey is available on the Bristol Green Party Website and Greens will be holding stalls across the city to canvass people for their views over the coming weeks. 

Notes to editor:

1 http://www.airqualitynews.com/2014/12/10/bristol-councillors-call-for-more-air-quality-monitors/

[2] http://www.bristol.airqualitydata.com/cgi-bin/sites.cgi?1002

[3]   Air pollution has been linked to “cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and changes linked to dementia”: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/every-breath-we-take-lifelong-impact-air-pollution

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