Residents asked to help tackle silent killer of air pollution

Council determined to improve air quality.

More than 200 residents die because of air pollution every year. Now Hammersmith & Fulham Council is creating a resident-led commission to tackle the deadly problem head on.

The new Air Quality Commission means that local residents and the council will work together to help combat this silent killer – estimated to cause 203 deaths each year in the borough.

Hammersmith resident Rosemary Pettit will chair the commission, which will engage with external experts and local residents in examining the causes and dangers of local air pollution.

The commission will recommend actions for the council to include in a new air quality action plan.

“We are determined to cut air pollution in Hammersmith & Fulham,” said H&F Council Leader Stephen Cowan.

“Rosemary has a track record of leading positive change for residents and I am delighted she has agreed to head up this review.”

Until last month, Rosemary Pettit chaired the Hammersmith Society. Prior to that, she was the membership secretary of the Brackenbury Residents’ Association.

Rosemary said: “H&F is a very dense and busy borough with a great deal of traffic generating pollution, and increasingly so. It’s important we understand what this pollution is, where it’s coming from and what we can do about it.”

Pollution deaths

Nearly one in seven deaths (15%) in Hammersmith & Fulham are caused by nitrogen dioxide air pollution – the eighth highest level in London according to King’s College London. A further 8.1% of deaths per year are caused by small particulate matter.

This problem is only expected to get worse, especially if the proposed Heathrow expansion – recently backed by the Davies Commission – goes ahead.

In 2000, the council developed an air quality action plan to tackle air pollution but more work is needed.

You can find out about air quality near your home, work or children’s school by checking the London Air Quality Network website.

You can also sign up for AirTEXT, a free service that provides pollution forecasts via text message, voicemail and email.

And you can find walking routes in the borough away from the busiest, most polluted roads by visiting the Walkit website.

Residents will be consulted on the council’s air quality action plan next year.

For reports by the council on poor air quality in the borough and what we have been doing to address it, please see the council's air quality web pages.

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