MEP’s air pollution warning
Green MEP Keith Taylor is visiting the University of Brighton’s new advanced air quality monitoring station, the first of its kind in the UK to detect harmful nano-sized particles and their gaseous precursors.
Mr Taylor, who represents the South East, said: “Public Health England statistics show poor air quality is responsible for an estimated 55,000 preventable deaths in the UK and it is thought to reduce people’s life expectancy by at least nine months across the Europe.
“The groundbreaking facility at Brighton, part funded by the European Union’s Joint Air Quality Initiative, is the first to detect particles that are capable of penetrating deeply into the human body where they can cause significantly harmful health effects.”
The university’s Air Environment Research team believe the station, on the Falmer campus, is “pushing the boundaries of our capabilities and enhancing our understanding of the harmful air pollutants we breathe”.
The team will be presenting Keith Taylor will their initial findings, three months after the centre was opened by Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas. She praised the university for its “trailblazing” research.
Keith Taylor, a vocal air quality campaigner, said: “I am delighted to be invited to see first-hand the absolutely essential work the team at University of Brighton is doing to investigate the harmful effects of air pollution. Although air pollution is quote often invisible it really is a massive concern. It is responsible for 55,000 preventable deaths in the UK, and is implicated hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.
“The right to breathe clean air is a fundamental. Yet thousands of lives in the South East are being shortened because the air is heavily polluted in many places, mostly by traffic. This is a symptom of a wider invisible public health crisis. The more we are able to understand about the pollutants we are facing the more equipped we will be to mitigate their effects.
“That the monitoring station has been funded by the EU reaffirms my belief that we are better placed to tackle the challenges of the 21st century, challenges, like air pollution, which have no respect for national boundaries, when we work with our neighbours. We need a collective approach to protecting people here in the UK and across Europe.”
For more information on the university’s environment research go to: https://www.brighton.ac.uk/lhp-research-groups/environment-and-technology/environmental-and-public-health/index.aspx