Air monitors in London hospitals
25 March 2019
TEN HOSPITALS in the most polluted areas of London will be equipped with new air quality monitors to measure levels of toxic air and help protect patients and staff.
Hospital patients, including young children and the elderly, are most vulnerable to the harmful health effects of air pollution, especially those suffering with respiratory conditions.
The air quality instruments will be supplied and installed by Air Monitors, one of the Breathe London partners. Managing director at Air Monitors Jim Mills said, “Air quality improvement measures should be targeted to protect the most vulnerable people. Therefore, I’m delighted to be expanding the network of AQMesh pods to include hospital sites. Data from these locations will help to highlight pollution hotspots and ensure the solutions that our partners put in place are working.”
A recent study found 60 per cent of hospitals and NHS facilities in inner London are located in areas that exceed the legal limit for air quality pollutants*.
The Mayor’s new hospital monitors will support the NHS by providing real-time air quality measurements that will allow health professionals to take appropriate action to protect patients and employees – for example, warning patients about high pollution episodes and advising which hospital entrances have the lowest levels of pollution.
The first monitor is already up and running at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, with others due to be installed shortly at the Trust’s other three hospitals The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham Hospitals, as well as at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, Guy’s Hospital and St Thomas’ Hospital and other NHS sites in London.
The monitors are part of Sadiq’s work to deliver the world’s most advanced and comprehensive network of air quality monitors in London to help investigate and improve London’s toxic air.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “Vulnerable hospital patients are more susceptible to the harmful effects of our toxic air pollution health crisis that harms lung growth and is linked to asthma, cancer and dementia. I am working with London’s leading hospitals to install air pollution monitors and help find new ways to reduce pollution and protect patients.
“I’m doing everything in my power to protect Londoners from polluted air including cleaning up our bus and taxi fleet, and establishing the largest air quality monitoring network of any major city. We are now counting down to the world’s first 24-hour seven-day-a-week Ultra Low Emission Zone in the central London congestion charge zone, which will help clean our air and reduce NOx road transport emissions in central London, including around many hospitals, by 45 per cent.”
The ULEZ will begin in central London on 8 April. The Mayor’s Breathe London project is using a range of more than 100 cutting-edge fixed and mobile sensors, including two dedicated Street View cars and backpacks for school children, to provide an unprecedented level of detail about London’s air quality crisis and deliver new insight into the sources of pollution. The new hospital monitors will help:
NHS staff to be better informed about air pollution, associated health risks and able to give vulnerable patients appropriate advice.
Hospitals and NHS facilities to measure the impact of measures they take to improve air quality (for example cleaning up their vehicle fleet or running no idling schemes)
Researchers to use on site air pollution concentrations alongside patient records to better understand the relationship between air pollution and health effects
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and Global Action Plan have published their new Clean Air Hospitals Framework and recommended installing air quality monitoring at NHS sites.