Sunday, October 17, 2021

Racial minorities “tend to live in areas with toxic air”

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Black and ethnic minority (BAME) people are more likely to live in areas of London with toxic air, according to a study.

The study carried out by the town hall found that less-favored areas or areas with a higher proportion of people with non-white backgrounds also have higher levels of air pollution.

However, the study also found that exposure to nitrogen dioxide across London has decreased by an average of 20 percent since 2016, while exposure to particulate matter such as dust, soot or smoke has decreased by an average of 15 percent.

It comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan made cleaning London’s air one of his key policies, with the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) due to expand later this month.

When the expansion is complete, around 3.8 million Londoners will live in the ULEZ.

City Hall estimates that 100,000 cars, 35,000 delivery vans and 3,000 trucks within the expanded ULEZ are currently out of line.

Typically, gasoline cars bought before 2006 and most diesel cars bought before September 2015 are below emissions standards.

Drivers of non-compliant vehicles under 3.5 tonnes in weight within the zone will be charged £ 12.50 per day, while drivers of non-compliant vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, including coaches and trucks, will be charged £ 100 per day.

In line with this initiative, City Hall has launched its new community program, Breathe London.

The initiative invites community organizations from disadvantaged areas to apply for one of 60 free air quality sensors that can be installed in any area.

The sensors then deliver “hyper-local real-time data” on air quality.

Londoners can also purchase the sensors for a fee.

The Breathe London Network is administered by the Environmental Research Group at Imperial College London and funded by the Mayor of London and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Khan said, “We know that toxic air pollution in London is slowing children’s lung growth and making chronic diseases like asthma worse.

“Our new study now confirms that those exposed to the worst air pollution are more likely to be Londoners living in deprived areas, as well as black, Asian and ethnic minorities.

“The bold steps we’ve taken since I became mayor have narrowed that gap by up to 50 percent, but there’s still a long way to go. That is why I am more determined than ever to do everything I can in London to write air pollution in the history books. “

The mayor said expanding the “world’s first” ULEZ will “help us create a cleaner, greener and fairer city”.

A YouGov poll in April 2019 found 72% of Londoners support the introduction of the ULEZ.

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