Air Pollution Buggy Monitors - E&C volunteers needed.

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Wednesday 20 January 2016 12.09pm
Are you a baby buggy pusher regularly around Elephant & Castle?
My wife Lyla and I are gathering volunteers to fix a small air pollution monitor to their buggy as a project together with Hugo Knowles at Internet of Things Academy. http://www.superflux.in/work/buggyair

As a parent of two under 3s, the fearful part of me would rather not know what I'm exposing them to, but ultimately I'm eager to be better informed and hope I can find a few mums and dads who share the same view. Please e-mail [url=mailto: lyla@perronethouse.com]lyla@perronethouse.com[/url] if you are interested in taking party.

In the context of a transport authority and local government who have knowingly increased air pollution in many areas at the Elephant and Castle as an acceptable side-effect in return for a new pedestrian piazza, and who have also turned down proposals for pollution-mitigating Nature Superhighways to be included within the large new concrete islands segregating cyclists, there is the need for more hard evidence to help put pressure on those who build our community, or to see the reasons why we should give up and move away. Our local Labour MP Neil Coyle has said nothing of his efforts to tackle the issue (I've asked) despite tweeting last June that Elephant & Castle was the most polluted place in South London. Perhaps he'll join in the experiment?

Here's the chilling warning from the makers of the monitoring kit...
"Today, in our cities, infants and toddlers who are constantly wheeled and carted around our roads are most susceptible to ground level air pollution, and are at highest risk. Till date, no project has investigated the impact of air pollution on this demographic, which represents the largest subgroup of the population susceptible to the effects of ground level air pollution mainly caused by NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) and PM (Particulate Matter). Long term health implications include lung, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancers such as leukaemia, allergy sensitization, asthma and significant deterioration in well-being."
Wednesday 20 January 2016 12.27pm
will you be doing the areas outside St Judes and Charloytte sharman schools?
Wednesday 20 January 2016 1.49pm
I expect so. The locations monitored are down to wherever the volunteers wander. The focus is for participants who see themselves as residents of Elephant & Castle (itself a debateable definition with unclear boundaries), but it's expected they'll travel beyond the area too. The two schools you mention are both very local to E&C and I know we push our buggy past them as we walk up St George's Road from Perronet House towards the IWM and the singalong sessions at the library on Lower Marsh.

dee dee wrote:
will you be doing the areas outside St Judes and Charloytte sharman schools?
Wednesday 20 January 2016 3.37pm
Does it have to be a buggy or can it be fixed to a primary school pupil's scooter? We scoot from Elephant to Borough and also around the Elephant for all manner of sports clubs and parks.
Wednesday 20 January 2016 4.46pm
Hi Katia. I put your question to Hugh and he said this:

"Unfortunately I think a scooter might be pushing it. It is quite robust but just not sure attaching it would work - it would bang around to much. We are working on a version that attaches to a bike so perhaps later. I often carry it attached to a backpack which works well as an alternative."

So the answer is yes, if you can attach it to a backpack, but not the scooter itself. I assume he means hanging off the bottom of the backpack, so it's positioned low down in the street like a buggy.

Katia wrote:
Does it have to be a buggy or can it be fixed to a primary school pupil's scooter? We scoot from Elephant to Borough and also around the Elephant for all manner of sports clubs and parks.
Wednesday 20 January 2016 4.50pm
How topical, I see James has just published a story about a visit a few weeks ago by our MP to a local school where they discovered some very bad news about air pollution.

http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/8610

It'd be good to build on this study so our MPs nascent interest in the subject converts into action. As a local councillor he backed The Bend at Elephant and Castle, a layout which knowingly increases air pollution and directly encourages people to linger there. Perhaps he'll back some serious changes if we can illustrate the need.
Wednesday 20 January 2016 5.15pm
It's worth knowing what the EU recommends for exposure to NOx if you're reviewing the detail of the students' graph. Green dots are far from fresh air, they're at the top end of the daily exposure rate. There's no where on this chart that helps even out the exposure to more than this rate in other locations.

Inhaling daily, as an annual daily mean, 40ug/m3 NOx in air
Inhaling in 1 hour, 200ug/m3 NOx in air, not to be exceeded more than 18 times in a year.

Neil's interest in the student project also provides him with no data on the deadly particulate pollution which not only comes from diesel vehicles (like the NOx) but also from construction and demolition projects.
Wednesday 20 January 2016 5.17pm
Thank you, Perronetonian, yes it would hang half way down a 4ft primary schooler so might just be the right hight. Living in MCH so right at the Elephant.

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