GREATER MANCHESTER CLEAN AIR DAY MISSES THE POINT
Trafford’s Breathe Clean Air Group welcomes Greater Manchester Clean Air Day, but says that its aims are too limited.
The Clean Air Day, to be held on Thursday 21st June, is only focussing on traffic air pollution and not airborne chemical pollution and Particulate Matter from Industrial processes.
“It’s fine to ask the public to leave their car at home for one day per week, car-sharing where possible, working from home, and walking and cycling more,” said Pete Kilvert, Chairman of the Breathe Clean Air Group, “but it doesn’t tackle the pollution from Industrial processes, Incineration, Power generation, Fracking and Wood-burning appliances.”
BCAG has written to Andy Burnham, GM Mayor, to draw his attention to the short-comings of the Clean Air Day. The group has also told the Mayor that to only focus on vehicles puts the blame for air pollution on the very people who elected him to office, whereas the real polluters go Scot free.
There is also alarm about PM2.5 particulate matter that is measured at the Eccles Air Pollution Monitoring Station. PM2.5 is extremely hazardous to health as it gets breathed into the lungs and can cross the barrier into the bloodstream. These particles go straight to the heart and then to other organs. There is a UK limit of 25 micrograms per cubic centimetre. The Eccles monitoring station for the 24 hours on Saturday 9th June and Sunday 10th June show PM 2.5 levels of 11 to 15 between 8 am and 11 pm, then it starts to climb at midnight to 21 and by 3 am it’s 36 and back to 29 at 7 am. This indicates that traffic is not the source of the dangerous PM 2.5s.
The Breathe Clean Air Group has been campaigning to stop the construction of a biomass incinerator and power plant at Davyhulme. “Biomass burning is one of the greatest sources of PM 2.5. Particulate Matter,” said Mr Kilvert. “The Davyhulme plant also plans to burn contaminated wood from construction and demolition sites and other waste which creates chemical air pollution as well. We are also concerned about the rise in popularity of domestic wood-burning stoves, where local residents are polluting their children and their neighbours,” added Mr Kilvert.
In the publicity for GM Clean Air Day, Andy Burnham says “It’s not an exaggeration to say that poor air quality is one of the biggest and deadliest challenges of the modern age.” The Breathe Clean Air Group is asking the GM Mayor to look beyond traffic pollution, identify the real polluters, get it controlled and prevent new industrial polluters from setting up business in Greater Manchester.