Air Quality Around Guy’s Hospital Breached WHO guidelines for 316 days in a year, Liberal Democrat Analysis Finds

20 Jun 2024
Cllr Rachel Bentley talking to concerned residents at Guy's Hospital

On National Air Quality Day, Liberal Democrat analysis of air quality monitors in Southwark found that the air around Guy’s Hospital in Southwark was above the WHO’s guidelines for nitrous dioxide (NO2) for 7589 hours, the equivalent of 316 days.  


The same figure for PM2.5, polluting particulates suspended in the air from vehicles was 242 days over the WHO limit. 


The government’s much more generous targets were still breeched for a total of 33 days at the hospital’s monitor. 


On Lower Road, where the Southwark Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on botched road works, the figure was 289 days of NO2 over the WHO limit. Whilst at the Oliver Goldsmith Primary school, it was 290.  


The Action for Clean Air campaign, the group behind Clean Air Day, warn that poor air quality can lead to health problems from asthma to strokes. 


Southwark Council’s Annual Public Health Report in 2023 warned that in 2019, 1 in 10 deaths were attributable to air pollution, with Southwark having the 3rd highest mortality burden. 


Commenting, Liberal Democrat Deputy Group Leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark Cllr Rachel Bentley said:  


“These worrying statistics confirm what we all know about air quality here in Southwark. Labour are talking the talk, but not walking the walk. We've put forward a number of proposals over the years - from improving tree coverage, to creating community climate grants, and extending cycle hire schemes – but every time Labour choose to turn their back on cleaning up our air.” 


Data obtained by Group Leader Cllr Victor Chamberlain under the Freedom of Information Act in 2022 showed every air monitoring test in Southwark have failed World Health Organisation (WHO) levels.


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