London is off to a not-so-great start with their new air pollution limits. Just five days into the New Year, and London has breached its annual air pollution limits. An air monitoring site located at Brixton Road South London began reading levels of nitrogen dioxide above their limits early Thursday. This however, continued throughout the day, breaking the eighteen-hour legal limit; data collected by Kings College London. The gas nitrogen dioxide is of course released from the emissions of cars, its inhalation can lead to lung disease and respiratory problems. The amount of air pollution detected at Brixton Road was “incredible”, said an environmental activist. The activist went on to say how Brixton Road being home to many shops, and transportations, the bus services in that area should have been shut down and nearby pedestrians warned to leave the area due to its air quality.
The European Union law states that the maximum nitrogen dioxide concentration of two hundred micrograms per cubic meter cannot surpass for more than eighteen hours over the year. However the Brixton Road site measured its nineteenth hour above the threshold at 9 p.m. on Thursday. Simon Birkett, the found and director of the Clean Air in London campaign, stated,“Hourly nitrogen dioxide concentrations reached an incredible 347.7 micrograms per cubic (meter) in Brixton Road at 9 p.m.” These numbers never should have been passed if they could have delivered on their Clean Air Act. At the very least some steps should have been taken in order to secure public health, and even lower the amount of carbon dioxide within the air. Hopefully the European Union learns from this event and takes the necessary steps in order to secure safer air quality.