Air pollution monitoring

We all know air pollution in London is bad but how bad is it exactly where we live? 

To find out what the situation is exactly in our part of North West London, Transition Kensal to Kilburn and Transition Willesden have started an air pollution monitoring project on September 24th. 

We've been inspired by a similar project conducted in Camden. Dee Searle, from the Camden Green Party and Transition Kentish Town, came to TTKK open meeting last April.

Dee told us how a group of volunteers installed some diffusion tubes to monitor air quality in different parts of Camden, with the help of Clean Air UK. 

If you want to receive regular updates about this project and/or want to share articles and other bits of information about air pollution please join this group. 

Members: 26
Latest Activity: Mar 4

Here are the results of our pollution monitoring TTK2K map.  As you can see all but two of our sites are over the EU legal limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Kilburn High Road is nearly twice the limit

And here are the results for Transition Willesden TW map 1 and TW map 2  Seven of our 10 sites were above the EU legal limit for NO2, with Cricklewood Broadway being over twice the limit.

In all 75% of the 20 sites tested exceeded legal limits for the pollutant.

We met in mid January along with other community groups to decide on actions to follow up this and combat pollution in our area. Watch this space for how to get involved.

Discussion Forum

Brent Air Quality Action Plan - have your say!

Brent residents have until Thursday 9th March to comment on Brent Air Quality Action Plan for the next 5 years.This new plan sets out 20 key actions to address local air pollution in Brent.It…Continue

Started by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes Feb 14, 2017.

Community Groups Join Forces to Combat Air Pollution in Brent

Hi allHere's a press release about our project so far:Four Brent community groups have been monitoring air pollution in the southern part of the Borough as part of a citizen science project across…Continue

Started by Viv Stein Jan 30, 2017.

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Comment by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes on October 10, 2016 at 8:21

Photographer and TTKK member Jonathan Goldberg took some photos on Saturday when we took the diffusion tubes down. Thank you, Jon!

Comment by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes on October 9, 2016 at 17:18

Camden council are organising an air quality conference on Wednesday 2nd November between 6pm and 8.30pm. You can book a ticket here. It's free. I've booked one.

Anyone else interested in attending the event?

I think it's important to know first hand what neighbouring councils are doing in order to get some action from Brent.

Comment by Sophia Flucker on October 9, 2016 at 17:03

Monitoring points for ten tubes (now collected)...we await the results

Comment by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes on October 9, 2016 at 13:08

I've just received an email from Friends of the Earth informing me that some more free diffusion tubes (aka Clean Air kits) will be available to order from Wednesday.

If you are interested in getting a air monitoring tube you should log into Friends of the Earth website early on Wednesday.

Comment by Janey McAllester on October 9, 2016 at 12:06

Success!  All ten of our tubes were retrieved untampered with and are being sent off to the lab for analysis.  A couple had insects in them but they seemed otherwise clean and untouched.  Well done to everyone for getting them up and out of reach.  A map of where they were will follow shortly.

Comment by Viv Stein on September 30, 2016 at 14:58

Transition Willesden have also been involved in this project.

Janey from TK2K and I spent the morning training at the amazing Grow Heathrow, run by Transition Heathrow, where we were provided with kits by the London Sustainability Exchange who are running this citizen science project.

Four of us then got together and put up ten tubes to monitor NO2 around Willesden and Dollis Hill. We located them at two official monitoring sites as well as outside schools, parks and busy roads – Willesden High Rd and Cricklewood Broadway.

We also borrowed a monitor that measures particulate matter, and used that in two sites a few days later.

Along with TK2K we'll be taking down the tubes on Saturday 8th October and look forward to a public meeting on Saturday 19th November to discuss results and plan actions.

Comment by Sophia Flucker on September 26, 2016 at 21:36

Planning where to place the monitoring tubes

Comment by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes on September 26, 2016 at 8:22

Judging by how well attended Brent Connects was last Wednesday a significant number of people are concerned about air quality in and around Queen's Park. 

It was a panel discussion chaired by Queen's Park councillor James Denselow. Tony Kennedy (head of transportation for Brent Council), Jennifer Barrett (who is in charge with air quality monitoring) as well as Aaron Kiely from Friends of the Earth and Oliver Lord from the Greater London Authority were on the panel. The leader of the council, Mohammed Butt, was in the audience. 

What we've learned from this meeting in brief:

- The number of cars in Brent has reduced but there is a divide between North Brent and South Brent. Residents in North Brent are more reliant on private cars to get around. 

- If you spot idling buses you should get in touch with Transport for London to let them know about it. They will make sure that operators are informed and bus drivers instructed to stop idling (so said Oliver Lord from the GLA). 

- You can report smoky cars and lorries to the Drivers and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA). Click here.

- Walking in slighted polluted areas is better than driving in the same areas! Drivers are more exposed to air pollution in their cars than pedestrians on the pavement. 

-Brent council is currently consulting residents upon the walking strategy that the borough should adopt. You have until this Friday (30/09) to give your views

- The council has restarted a cycling forum. Meetings are held once every quarter. For more information about cycling in Brent you can contact Brent cycling group and check out Brent council page dedicated to cycling in the borough (activities, cycling routes etc.). 

- Edges and trees absorb pollution, Aaron Kiely from Friends of the Earth confirmed. You can request a tree to be planted on your street.

-Jennifer Barrett from Brent council was very enthused by our air pollution monitoring project - although Brent council does monitor air quality using various tools. Jennifer has asked us to pass the data onto her when we have them. She also stressed that air pollution needs to be monitored at different times of the year. 

If you want to measure air pollution on your doorstep you can get in touch with Friends of the Earth to get a free diffusion tube - so called Clean Air kit. Their first batch of tubes have been snapped up but they will provide some more to people who send them their details. 

Don't hesitate to share the information above with your friends and neighbours. 



Comment by Janey McAllester on September 26, 2016 at 7:31

Great start to our project on Saturday with a wonderful group of volunteers putting ten nitrogen dioxide monitoring tubes out round the TTKK area.  Watch this space for a map of where they are located.  We also tested for particulates in four areas.  Results to follow next month.

Comment by Amandine Alexandre-Hughes on June 10, 2016 at 10:57

We held our first meeting on Wednesday evening as planned.

Members of several residents association (Brent Eleven Streets, Kensal Rise Residents Association and Kensal Triangle Residents Association) were there.

We are planning to kick start the air monitoring at the very beginning of September but that needs confirming. 

When a date has been confirmed, we will put a message out for volunteers. We will need people to attach diffusion tubes to lamp posts and take them down a month later. 


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