Poor air quality causes both respiratory and cardiovascular health problems, and has been linked with conditions such as strokes and dementia. In the UK, exposure to particulate pollution and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are thought to cause around 40,000 premature deaths a year, with 700 of these in Leeds itself. Like many UK cities, annual mean concentrations of NO2 in several locations in Leeds exceed the legally binding EU limit of 40 ug m-3.
Leeds has two air quality monitoring stations that are part of the national Defra network (here and here) and several stations operated by Leeds City Council. However, our knowledge of air quality in and around the University of Leeds campus, and how it varies, is poor.
During the first year of the Living Lab for Air Quality we will be conducting regular monitoring to map the levels of pollution that staff and students are exposed to – look out for the stickers around campus!
If you’d like to volunteer to monitor air quality on campus please contact me.