This week, London’s air pollution levels passed those of Beijing, partially due to the significant contribution wood burning stoves to the issue.
Mayor Sadiq Khan issued on Monday the highest air pollution alert in London, stating later that the England capital’s ‘filthy air’ that is transforming into a ‘health crisis.’
Figures showed that as of 3pm last Monday, the state of London air was worse than Beijing’s, which is unfortunately renowned for its air pollution problem, marking a high 197 micrograms per cubic metre on the Air Quality Index, compared to Beijin’s 190 micrograms per cubic meter, both of which categorize as harmful.
In 2014, London witnessed its nitrogen dioxide levels exceed those of China, but these particulate readings prove to be the first time that the city’s air pollution has beat those of a Far Eastern city as well.
King’s College London experts have commented that “traffic pollution and air pollution from wood burning” are adding to the issue, combined with the factors of cold, calm, and settled conditions, which have overall caused the city’s pollution status to be the worst it has ever been in almost 6 years, since April 2011.
Additionally, fuel will continue to be burned for heat and warmth as the city has recently seen weather temperatures dropping below zero overnight.
Comments On Pollution Levels
A spokesman for King’s College said, “This was the largest contribution from wood burning measured during the winter so far.”
According to records, 175,000 new wood burning stoves are installed every day in British homes, with households that already have their own installments exceeding over one million.
In some areas, children’s schools have stopped their students from playing outdoors, as Public Health England even specifically warned against exercise outdoors as well