Fleet News

GMB calls for action to reduce PM10 air pollutants

Localised monitoring has shown some areas with extremely high levels of air pollutants, says the GMB union.

PM10s are noxious particles which irritate the airways and find their way deep down into the lungs causing breathing difficulties even in healthy people. Workers who work on the roadside such as street cleaners, refuse workers, parking staff and others are particularly exposed to such pollutants. GMB is calling for more localised monitoring and for action to further reduce exposures.

John McClean, GMB national health, safety and environment officer said: “This study shows that there are high levels of PM-10s in areas across the UK. Clean air should be a right, not a privilege.

"Road transport is a major cause of air pollution. Exposure is attributed to thousands of deaths and new cases of asthma and bronchitis each year. The World Health Organisation states that there are no safe limits for these particles.

"Government has to ban high polluting vehicles from our city centres. There is a need to look at the final mile delivery from business to business and to consumers in urban areas being reorganized to be done on a zero emission basis.

"More has to be done to force all diesel vehicle manufacturers to fit particulate filters to their vehicles. The mistaken belief that diesel cars are ‘better’ for the environment has to be challenged. Diesel cars emit twenty two times more PM10s that petrol cars do."

He added: "Localised monitoring has shown some areas with extremely high levels of pollutants. So councils should do more monitoring to identify areas and times of day with high levels of pollutants. Doctor’s surgeries should have information on display making vulnerable people aware of these areas so that they can avoid them. Schools should advise parents and children of the routes to and from schools with the lowest levels of pollutants.

Figures from Jan 1 to May 14 are shown below, as reported by Defra.

Site Name

 Annual Mean (Hourly measured PM10 µg/m3)

 Aberdeen

16

 Armagh Roadside

20

 Auchencorth Moss

8

 Barnstaple A39

18

 Belfast Centre

16

 Birmingham Tyburn

18

 Birmingham Tyburn Roadside

19

 Bristol St Paul's

18

 Camden Kerbside

20

 Cardiff Centre

18

 Carlisle Roadside

15

 Chatham Roadside

22

 Chepstow A48

18

 Chesterfield

19

 Chesterfield Roadside

21

 Derry

18

 Eastbourne

21

 Edinburgh St Leonards

14

 Glasgow Kerbside

25

 Grangemouth

12

 Harwell

14

 Hull Freetown

15

 Leamington Spa

16

 Leeds Centre

18

 Leeds Headingley Kerbside

26

 Liverpool Speke

16

 London Bloomsbury

21

 London Harlington

21

 London Marylebone Road

29

 London N. Kensington

25

 Lough Navar

9

 Middlesbrough

18

 Narberth

15

 Newcastle Centre

14

 Newport

17

 Norwich Lakenfields

16

 Nottingham Centre

21

 Oxford St Ebbes

21

 Plymouth Centre

19

 Port Talbot Margam

29

 Portsmouth

23

 Reading New Town

16

 Rochester Stoke

20

 Salford Eccles

18

 Saltash Callington Road

18

 Sandy Roadside

19

 Scunthorpe Town

23

 Sheffield Devonshire Green

22

 Southampton Centre

22

 Southwark A2 Old Kent Road

21

 Stanford-le-Hope Roadside

22

 Stockton-on-Tees Eaglescliffe

16

 Stoke-on-Trent Centre

20

 Swansea Roadside

21

 Thurrock

20

 Warrington

16

 York Bootham

14

 York Fishergate

20

 

 

 


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