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Nitrogen dioxide levels increase 15% in a year across London - Hughes

March 22, 2004 12:50 PM

New figures obtained by Liberal Democrat London Mayoral candidate Simon Hughes today show that nitrogen dioxide in London has risen by an average of 15% in the last two years with only one of the nineteen sites recording a decrease in its level.

Figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats also show that London's levels of nitrogen dioxide concentration are set to exceed the Government's targets. Only four out of nineteen sites tested in 2003 were at or below acceptable levels.

The sites in London with the largest increases in their highest nitrogen dioxide concentrations between 2002 and 2003 were:-

Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate Simon Hughes said:

"High nitrogen dioxide levels can cause lung damage and increased respiratory infections in young children. Long-term exposure may lead to increases in asthma and may cause alterations in the lung.

"While the hot summer of last year certainly did not help in reducing levels, it is time that the Mayor, the Boroughs and Ministers worked together to reduce the amount of harmful substances in our air.

"A mayor for Greater London must make sure that improvements in our quality of life happen across the whole of the capital and not just within the Zone 1. Mr Livingstone has given too much attention to reducing levels in the centre and has failed to tackle the pollution in the air outer London breathes."