London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory is a full inventory of London’s emissions, by source and locations for 2013.

The LAEI 2013 is the latest version of the London Atmospheric Emissions and includes estimates of key pollutants (NOx, PM10, PM2.5 and CO2) which are included for the base year 2013 and projected forward to 2020, 2025, and 2030. Emissions for previous years 2008 and 2010 are also provided, to allow comparison with previous versions of the LAEI. It covers the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London and the geographic area of greater London up to the M25 motorway which circumnavigates the capital. For full documentation and methodology click here 

kingston-no2

LAEI map for Kingston-upon-Thames

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LAEI map for central London – City of Westminster – areas of high atmospheric pollution along Euston Rd, Knightsbridge and Marble Arch areas.

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The high levels of air pollution in Hillingdon and Hounslow are related to their location close to Heathrow Airport and its high levels of aviation related emissions

London Air Quality Network Summary Report 2014 was published in March 2016 by by Environmental Research Group at King’s College London. This report details the results of air pollution measurements made on the London Air Quality Network during 2014 providing robust air pollution measurements that are essential to underpin air quality management and health studies. The key points of the report;

Carbon Monoxide – Large reductions in CO over last 20 years with the introduction of catalytic converters

Nitrogen Dioxide – 39 of 67 sites did not achieve the annual mean objective with 8 sites recorded an annual mean of twice the legal limit or above.  Three sites measured more than 1000 hours with mean NO2 greater than 200 µgm-3. The main source of NO2 in London is traffic emissions.

Ozone – 3 sites in urban background locations did not achieve the objective. Ozone is a regional pollutant which is greater away from busy roads.

Sulphur Dioxide – The WHO Guidelines (WHO, 2006) recommended a significant reduction in the maximum daily mean concentration from the current 125 μgm -3 to an eventual 20 μgm -3 . Only one of the 10 sites met this target in 2014.

Particulate Matter PM10 – All 47 sites met the annual mean AQS objective of 40 µgm-3 for PM10. (One site did not meet the daily mean objective of no more than 35 days with a daily mean greater than or equal to 50 μgm -3 . This single site measured 55 days with a mean concentration greater than 50 μgm -3 .)

London – Air quality overview

London suffers from traffic related pollution in a similar way to most UK cities, but the sheer size of the city, along with a dense road network and high buildings, means that central London tends to be one of the most polluted places in the UK. It is currently the main area failing to comply with the legally binding limits set by the EU. Pollution can build up in London when it becomes trapped between buildings,or in the local area more generally, especially during still weather.

Ozone pollution in spring and summer can also be a problem, but normally in London suburbs rather than the centre, and the highest levels in the UK are found in rural areas. Ozone is often higher in the south-east compared with the rest of the UK.

Within Europe London is the largest city, but we have less pollution than some EU cities because we are on the western edge of the continent and often receive fresh air from the Atlantic. From a global perspective, research from the World Bank shows that air pollution is a major health hazard in developing countries. If we rank the 3,226 cities with a population greater than 100,000 according to their pollution levels, from high to low, London comes 2,516th.

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