Local pollution hotspots

Our proposals for the provision of more sustainable transport options within Epping Forest would help reduce several local pollution hotspots identified by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC). These include:

  • Epping High Street
  • Bell Common, Epping
  • Hainault Road, Chigwell
  • Goldings Hill, Loughton
  • Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill
  • High Street, Ongar

Worryingly, nitrogen dioxide levels in these areas are above the concentration deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. And we know there are other streets in the district that really ought to be monitored, and seem likely to be just as bad!

Nitrogen dioxide causes a range of harmful effects on the lungs including:

  • Increased inflammation of the airways
  • Worsened cough and wheezing
  • Reduced lung function
  • Increased asthma attacks
  • Cardiovascular harm
  • Greater likelihood of emergency department and hospital admissions
  • Lower birth weight in newborns
  • Increased risk of premature death
  • Reduced ability to concentrate and slowed reaction times  in children

Does this mean that it is safer to be inside a vehicle when travelling through these hotspots? No, not at all. Levels of nitrogen dioxide are on average 21% higher inside a vehicle with the windows shut than on the road outside.

Sources

Epping Forest District Council. Air quality management status report. 2019 report is due. Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request are available at: https://eftag.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Annual-Nitrogen-Dioxide-tube-Spreadsheet-2018.xlsx. 2018 report available at: https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/environment/local-air-quality-management/

Ambient Outdoor Air Pollution, World Health Organisation. May 2018. Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/ambient-(outdoor)-air-quality-and-health

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Integrated Science Assessment for Oxides of Nitrogen — Health Criteria. EPA/600/R-15/068. January 2016. Available at: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/isa/recordisplay.cfm?deid=310879

 U.S. EPA. Air Emissions Sources: Nitrogen Oxides, National Summary of Nitrogen Oxides Emissions, 2011. Available at https://www.epa.gov/air-emissions-inventories/2011-national-emissions-inventory-nei-data

Traffic-related air pollution and attention in primary school children: short-term association. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 2017, 28(2), p.181. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2017/03000/Traffic_related_Air_Pollution_and_Attention_in.5.aspx

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