Air quality throughout the UK has deteriorated during the heatwave, but just as monitors in neighbouring Lewisham and Croydon recorded levels of particulate matter pollution that are much higher than WHO guidelines, Bromley Council’s only live monitor stopped working. However Bromley Liberal Democrats’ air quality monitoring network continued to work and recorded peak 24-hour average values of 28 μg/m3 for PM2.5.
Strong sunlight, higher temperatures and low winds cause elevated ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) concentrations. High levels of PM cause particular difficulties for people with circulatory and respiratory conditions such as asthma.
Bromley Council has only one live monitor (located in central Bromley). During the peak of pollution levels, the monitor stopped working. Bromley Liberal Democrats’ air quality monitor network showed particulate matter pollution peaked on the mornings of 11th,12th and 13th of August and levels exceeded the World Health Organisation 24-hour average guideline of 25 μg/m3 for PM2.5. Similar readings are seen from official monitors in neighbouring Croydon and Lewisham which were in excess of 34 μg/m3.
PM2.5 measurements μg/m3
Red: Bromley's Harwood Road monitoring station with data missing for most of August
Blue: Croydon's Norbury Park monitoring station data
Pink: Lewisham's Honor Oak Park monitoring station data
Source: London Air
WHO guideline level is 25
This is not the first time Bromley Council’s monitor has stopped working - the Council only made live data available from April 2020 and there have been several periods since then when the monitor has been offline. Bromley Council are currently consulting on an Air Quality Action Plan for Bromley and the Lib Dems have asked that monitoring stations with live data should be established in all our main population centres as well as areas with known air quality issues.
Bromley Liberal Democrats have a petition calling on Bromley Council to set up a network of official air monitors across the Borough - if you would like to sign the petition click here.