Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pollution going Underground

Fresh concerns over air quality on the London Underground have been raised after researchers found that the concentration of particulate pollution in tube stations was up to 30 times higher than beside busy roads in the capital.

Tests found that the Northern Line had the highest concentration of PM2.5 (tiny particles linked to health problems) with the air on platforms at Hampstead station – the deepest on the tube network at 60 metres (200ft) below ground level – recording an average 492 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) of air, compared with an annual average of 16 μg/m3 from a roadside monitoring site in the capital.

Passengers are exposed to the same concentration of particulates in an hour on the tube as they are during a full day above ground in ambient London air, the committee found.

For road users, it estimated that an equivalent bus journey, typically taking two and a half times as long, would expose a passenger to a third of the pollution.

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