Poi­soned by pol­lu­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Res­i­dents in Cam­bus­lang are be­ing “poi­soned by pol­lu­tion” ac­cord­ing to Cam­bus­lang Community Coun­cil.

The group were speak­ing af­ter look­ing more closely at pol­lu­tion lev­els on the Main Street.

Last week, we re­ported that Cam­bus­lang Main Street was one of the most pol­luted streets in Scot­land.

Only some of Scot­land’s busiest streets in city cen­tres were deemed worse.

The community coun­cil say their own re­search sug­gests pol­lu­tion lev­els reg­u­larly reach dou­ble the ac­cepted amount in the town.

Chair­man David Thomp­son said: “Our own re­search on Scot­tish Air Qual­ity agency data has found some se­ri­ously wor­ry­ing fig­ures on ni­tro­gen diox­ide and par­tic­u­late ( PM10) con­cen­tra­tions at the Cam­bus­lang mon­i­tor­ing point.

“Bear­ing in mind that the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s limit for ni­tro­gen diox­ide is 40, the ev­i­dence from the SAQ data is much, much worse than the fig­ure of 46 quoted in the re­cent Friends of the Earth re­port.

“Dur­ing large parts of the day, the con­cen­tra­tion of ni­tro­gen diox­ide is more than twice the rec­om­mended max­i­mum and oc­ca­sion­ally four times.

“It is not hy­per­bole to say that peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang are be­ing lit­er­ally poi­soned by pol­lu­tion.”

Dr David Porter, Cam­bus­lang Community Coun­cil mem­ber, added: “Let’s be clear about the health im­pli­ca­tions. Long-term ex­po­sure to ni­tro­gen diox­ide, for ex­am­ple, can have a dam­ag­ing ef­fect on the res­pi­ra­tory sys­tem.

“It can cause in­flam­ma­tion of the air­ways and af­fect lung func­tion. Stud­ies have shown a link with acute bron­chi­tis and asthma, es­pe­cially among chil­dren.

“This needs to be ad­dressed se­ri­ously and ur­gently.”

Of­fi­cers at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are cur­rently as­sess­ing the data.

Shirley Clel­land, head of fleet and en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices, said: “A re­view of air qual­ity mon­i­tor­ing re­sources across South La­nark­shire was un­der­taken in 2015.

“Cam­bus­lang was iden­ti­fied as an area of high traf­fic vol­ume ad­ja­cent to re­cep­tive peo­ple and mon­i­tor­ing of air qual­ity in Cam­bus­lang com­menced in Oc­to­ber 2015. Mon­i­tor­ing sites were se­lected to give ac­cu­rate data on air qual­ity in the lo­cal­ity.

“A full calendar year of pro­vi­sional data is avail­able and is be­ing as­sessed. If the as­sess­ment de­ter­mines that air qual­ity ob­jec­tives are li­able to be ex­ceeded, then a de­tailed as­sess­ment will be un­der­taken for Cam­bus­lang, and if that as­sess­ment in­di­cates that air qual­ity ob­jec­tives are in­deed ex­ceeded at rel­e­vant lo­ca­tions then South La­nark­shire Coun­cil will com­mence the process of Air Qual­ity Man­age­ment Area dec­la­ra­tion.

“In the mean­time, South La­nark­shire Coun­cil con­tin­ues to work on mea­sures to im­prove air qual­ity across the whole area.”

Mean­while Mar­garet Walker, the Scot­tish Labour can­di­date for Cam­bus­lang West, called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to do more to tackle air pol­lu­tion.

She said: “These fig­ures about Cam­bus­lang Main Street should worry us all.

“There are real health risks as­so­ci­ated with liv­ing near busy roads and thou­sands die a year in Scot­land be­cause of air pol­lu­tion.

“De­spite ten years in gov­ern­ment, the SNP have failed to reg­u­late bus travel, mean­ing com­pa­nies can charge what­ever fares they like. Com­bined with the sham­bles that is ScotRail, it’s no won­der cars con­tinue to pol­lute our busy streets.”

Peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang are be­ing lit­er­ally poi­soned

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