Clean air campaigners at AddressPollution.org have released a new campaign designed to raise awareness of the alarmingly high volumes of toxic air within London which exposes some 2m residents to air quality which falls below legal minimums.
Devised by creative industry alliance the Central Office for Public Interest (Copi) and AMV BBDO the campaign dovetails with the launch of a new Air Quality Rating which provides a free report for every address in London using data sourced from King’s College London. This generates a pollution read-out with a single click and highlights whether this reading contravenes the World Health Organisation’s annual legal limit for clean air.
Current legal limits for Nitrogen Dioxide in the atmosphere are set at 40 micrograms per cubic metre but in some parts of the city, this figure stands above 80.
Surprisingly many of the worst affected areas are home to some of the city’s most well-heeled residents such as Chelsea, Westminster and London Fields, prompting moves to force estate agents to pass on the data, potentially crashing sky-high housing costs.
Armed with these figures the pollution hotspots are being targeted with billboards carrying messages such as ‘Location, Location, Lung Disease’ and ‘These houses cost an arm, leg and lung’ as well as an animation of the brain, heart and lungs reacting to pollution.
This will seek to apply pressure to property developers and estate agents to disclose air quality metrics to potential purchasers.
Copi founder Humphrey Milles said: “Air pollution is killing people across the country, and London is worst hit - but people don’t believe it will affect them personally. The Air Quality Rating is a tool to change these perceptions and shows just how real, and dangerous, air pollution is across the capital, including in some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods.
“I urge every Londoner to check the Air Quality Rating for their address, get informed and take action. Sign the petition and demand immediate action from your council and local MP.”
The initiative will be extended to other UK cities suffering from poor air quality with pollution now becoming a global concern. This has seen a 'pollution souvenir' of canned air from the Thai city of Chiang Mai to call attention to widespread pollution.