Clean Air Eastbourne

It may come as a surprise to you that Eastbourne is one of the most polluted cities in Britain. A report from the World Health Organization revealed that this city contains levels of lethal particulates much higher than what is considered ‘healthy’ air. Tiny particles known as particulate matter (PM 2.5’s) shouldn’t be more than 10 micrograms per cubic meter- but Eastbourne as a whole, has exceeded that. Along with Southhampton and London, we inhale toxic air that has 50% more particulates than the legal levels.

Clean Air Eastbourne is trying to change that and get people involved with science by installing their very own monitoring devices outside their homes. It is a citizen-run project that has been running for two years which records the quality of the air and shows frequent updates on their website. The devices are called Airrohr and were invented by the Luftdaten project in Germany. They believe that there should be more transparency when it comes to our health.

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Air pollutants cause premature deaths and as road traffic replaces industry as the main emitter of toxic pollutants in the UK, the need for people to make conscious lifestyle changes- such as cycling or using public transport instead of driving, is greater than ever. The anti-idling campaign launched by the council last year encourages drivers to turn off their engines when they are picking up and dropping off children at school, as younger children are more at risk to respiratory diseases.

Halima Mohamed, 40, from Latimer Road said “With all the information that’s out there, there’s no reason why people shouldn’t make informed decisions- and in order for this scheme to work, it needs to be a joint effort.” Different schemes such as London’s T-charge aims to lower congestion and harmful gases, with a £10 charge for older vehicles that are more harmful for the environment and a further £10 in Congestion Charge Zones. The money collected goes back into public transport spending. Rory Ansel-Darlington, 37, from Beachy Head Road said “People tend to think that their individual actions won’t make much of a difference to society, but it really does- and sooner or later a chain reaction has started.” Commit to walk more- not only will it decrease the number of cars on the road, but it’s important for health.

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