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MNHQ here: how concerned are you about air quality?

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RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-Jul-16 15:08:20


We've been contacted by the Mayor of London's office; they're asking us to find out what Mumsnet users think about air quality - particular in relation to children's health, although it doesn't have to be exclusively so.

So we'd be grateful if you could let us have your views. Here are some prompts, although as ever feel free to ignore if you have other thoughts grin

*Is air quality something that you think about often, or that impacts on your daily life (or that of your family members)?
*Have you ever considered air quality when making decisions about where to live or work, or where to send your children to school?
*Do you take any measures to try to protect yourself or family members from poor air quality (such as filter masks)?
*Are you particularly concerned about any individual pollutants?
*Who do you think should be responsible for improving the quality of the air (if anyone)?
*If you could opt in to auto-alerts that gave you information about the air quality each day, would you do so? How would you use this information?
*Would you support policy measures to reduce air pollution such as scrapping diesel automobiles or charges on car use?

All feedback (not just from Londoners!) very welcome - thank you.

VoyageOfDad Fri 01-Jul-16 15:36:03

It's pretty high in my list of concerns and I'm so please you've highlighted this.

I've looked at the Green Party map of London and my dd's school is within worrying distance to a major road.

More people now die from pollution related respiratory problems than they do from smoking, it's damaging our children and yet there's virtually no discussion on it.

If support any campaign on this issue.

sunglassesonhead Fri 01-Jul-16 15:39:18

I'm incredibly worried about it and will avoid spending much time in areas I know are particuarly bad when I'm pregnant especially.

sunglassesonhead Fri 01-Jul-16 15:40:04

Would support any measures to reduce air pollution. Don't own a car for that very reason

OddBoots Fri 01-Jul-16 15:49:48

I am very concerned at work - I work in early years in a setting very close to an airport, train lines and major roads, I am sure the air around us is of terrible quality.

We could use alerts to decide how much outdoor time is safe for the children (and staff).

PrincessHairyMclary Fri 01-Jul-16 16:07:42

My parents moved us from London and air pollution was one of the reasons. Our school was next to a very busy road.

I live by the sea now in an area with no major roads so it's very low on my list - unless you count when the farmers are much spreading as that stinks the entire town out.

YesThisIsMe Fri 01-Jul-16 16:12:02

I'm really concerned, and I think it should be a key priority for the Mayor of London and the GLA - it's something that they really have the power to control and that makes a huge difference to their constituents' lives.

It affects my choices to some extent - I bear it in mind who deciding routes or exercise venues and I absolutely wouldn't live somewhere on a main road. Unfortunately I work pretty centrally.

I think the mayor and the assembly should instruct TfL to clean up the buses ASAP, whilst also legislating to encourage cleaner private cars and lorries.

Text alerts would be handy.

VoyageOfDad Fri 01-Jul-16 16:23:29

I seem to remember a certain Boris Johnson suppressing bad news about pollution when he was mayor.

BeckerLleytonNever Fri 01-Jul-16 16:32:57

we live in a flight zone right next to heathrow airport.
we have no other choice where to live.
I cant open windows to air the house, I have to dry washing indoors because of the emissions and noise, cant even use our lovely garden.
DC is autistic and freaks outr with the noise, and has chronic asthma because of the pollution.

and they want to build another fucking runway???????????????????
do ANY of these proposers LIVE near and by an airport?

exhaust fumes from buses and lorries is bad enough (why are cars being made 'greener' and not those vehicles?)but bloody planes?????????

IAmAPaleontologist Fri 01-Jul-16 16:40:42

A while ago we did a session in uni about smoking cessation. There was a casual smoker in the group but no habitual smokers. On that day I had commuted by train and then on the metro (Newcastle version of the London Underground) rather than by car. When we all checked our carbon monoxide readings mine was the highest in the group. If I had a woman give me that reading and saying she didn't smoke then I'd be inclined to think she was not quite being straight with me. Disturbing really. I have never smoked, have a carbon monoxide alarm at home with digital read out display so it wasn't anything like that giving me that level.

So yes air quality is a big concern in our cities. Public transport may help reduce emissions by cutting numbers of cars but how good is air quality on public transport? Especially underground trains?

pearlylum Fri 01-Jul-16 16:42:49

I live in rural scotland surrounded by ancient woodland. Not concerned about air quality.

IAmAPaleontologist Fri 01-Jul-16 16:42:56

I should say that in day to day life and for my children I'm not worried as we live in a fairly rural area but in cities and for those that commute daily within cities it is concerning.

TempsPerdu Fri 01-Jul-16 16:53:28

I live in an outer London borough that has very poor air quality in parts, and where several thousand school-aged children were recently found to attend schools where NO2 levels exceeded acceptable limits. It does concern me, and I have cut down on driving for this reason. Having worked as a teacher, I have been struck by the apparent prevalence of asthma and other allergy-related conditions in local schools.

However despite much recent publicity re air pollution and high childhood obesity rates I find that many people remain deeply wedded to their cars and strongly resent any efforts to promote alternative forms of transport. A local scheme providing government funding to instigate a 'Mini Holland' cycle scheme in our borough has met with fierce opposition from local residents and businesses who want to maintain the car-centric status quo.

I noticed while on holiday in Spain recently that many towns/cities had electronic signs displaying current air quality in public spaces. Perhaps his might be something we could emulate in London to increase public awareness of the issue? I also think auto-alerts might be worth considering.

I'd definitely support any more general policies/efforts to improve air quality in London, and would welcome more of a focus on environmental matters generally.

CFSKate Fri 01-Jul-16 17:07:11

Very very concerned about air quality. Very big part of life decisions.

ChardonnayKnickertonSmythe Fri 01-Jul-16 17:14:57

I'm very worried and I think it's getting worse.
Probably TMI bit when I'm out and about I notice my nose is coveted with black sooty stuff. It didn't use to be like this a few months ago.

PolkadotsAndMoonbeams Fri 01-Jul-16 17:43:18

There's at least one CO level monitor up in Edinburgh - I think that's a very good idea.

tinymeteor Fri 01-Jul-16 17:44:51

I'm very worried about it. I live in SE London and have a child with a history of respiratory problems. If the cruise ship terminal goes ahead at Enderby Wharf that's just about the only thing that would drive me to move out of London.

Blueskies80 Fri 01-Jul-16 18:17:51

Am very concerned about it. I avoid certain places, eg parks on busy roads. I worry about my daughters school which is next to a B road which although residential has numerous buses running along it and the reception playground is next to it. Traffic is so much worse than even ten years ago. I live in zone 2/3 borders and in rush hour it can take upwards of 30 mins to travel 2 miles. Think drastic action needed, similar to when congestion charge originally introduced, to get people out of cars, and not just in central London too. Also reducing diesel vehicles too. And pushing all buses towards hybrid models.

poocatcherchampion Fri 01-Jul-16 18:20:18

I live in a town in the midlands. I rarely think about it.

Although dh and I do "wash the London off" if we go there for work.

Oblomov16 Fri 01-Jul-16 18:47:25

Low on my list of concerns. I care about our air quality in the UK. I support green issues generally. But locally I believe the quality is good, that's why I choose to live here rather than outer London or inner London - which is where the mayor is most concerned.

RhubarbAndMustard Fri 01-Jul-16 18:56:53

It's not something I really think about on a daily basis. We live in a town in the SE and I've never worried about the air quality here.

When I worked in London it was more of a concern. Just coming home, blowing my nose and the tissue being black. It did worry me being pregnant and having to commute into such polluted air.

OvO Fri 01-Jul-16 19:00:12

It's never entered my head tbh.

I live on the outskirts of Edinburgh. I do notice the pollution smell when in the city centre but I'm not there often. Where I am is surrounded by trees, hills and farmland.

RingUpRingRingDown Fri 01-Jul-16 19:05:06

We live in the heart of rural England, so it's not an issue at all.

I do notice pollution when I visit cities, particularly London. They seem so smelly and dirty (and noisy) and my skin and hair feel horrible afterwards.

VoyageOfDad Fri 01-Jul-16 19:20:23

90 london secondary schools exposed to dangerous levels of pollution.

Cinnamon2013 Fri 01-Jul-16 19:21:29

I live in north London. I think about it at least weekly - there are days I find it difficult to breathe normally (and I'm not asthmatic). It has got considerably worse in last two years. I worry a lot about the children. I have ruled out one local school even though it's Outstanding as its on the A406 and the levels of NI have been listed as dangerously high. I'm considering another but it's also on a major road. I am really hoping the mayor can prioritise this issue.

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