Group monitors air quality at Sheffield sites

Members of Sheffield Friends of the Earth installing a diffusion tube outside Sheffield hospitals to highlight the impact air pollution has on the health of both children and adults.
Members of Sheffield Friends of the Earth installing a diffusion tube outside Sheffield hospitals to highlight the impact air pollution has on the health of both children and adults.
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Environmental campaigners have put six pollution monitoring kits around Sheffield to check air quality.

Members of Sheffield Friends of the Earth placed the equipment at Sheffield train station; Whitham Road near the Children’s Hospital and Weston Park Hospital; Gleadless; Netherthorpe; High Street in the city centre and Holme Lane in Hillsborough.

Spokesperson John Wilson said: “Because you often can’t see it, or smell it, people don’t realise air pollution is there.

“We know that in areas with a lot of traffic and high levels of air pollution, children are more likely to have asthma.

“Both children and adults with asthma and other lung conditions will be aware that when air pollution level are higher their symptoms often get worse with more frequent acute attacks and more hospital admissions.”

Air pollution is also linked to cancer, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and changes linked to dementia.

It causes 40,000 early deaths in the UK every year with an estimated 500 dying prematurely in Sheffield.

The cost of air pollution to the national economy is more than £20 billion a year, with £160 million in lost working days in Sheffield.

The kits contain diffusion tubes which monitor nitrogen dioxide.

They will be sent to the laboratory for analysis later this month and once results start coming in, they will be put on a UK-wide air pollution map, developed with experts at King’s College, London.

People can order a kit to test air quality at foe.co.ukgo/kit