Un­der­ground pol­lu­tion lev­els high:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Pol­lu­tion lev­els on Lon­don’s un­der­ground rail sys­tem are so high that an hour’s travel is the same as spend­ing a whole day in traf­fic, new re­search has found.

In some Tube sta­tions the air can be up to 50 times dirt­ier than on the street, with pol­lu­tion par­tic­u­larly bad on lines that run a long way un­der the city, found the study, com­mis­sioned by Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL).

“Mass con­cen­tra­tions of PM at the plat­forms on Lon­don Un­der­ground lines are typ­i­cally much higher than in am­bi­ent air,” said the re­port, re­fer­ring to the con­cen­tra­tion of tiny poi­sonous par­tic­u­late mat­ter in the air.

Nearly 9,500 Lon­don res­i­dents die pre­ma­turely ev­ery year as a re­sult of longterm ex­po­sure to air pol­lu­tion, a 2015 study by re­searchers at King’s Col­lege Lon­don showed. Lon­don’s sub­way is the world’s old­est and some of its 11 lines and 270 sta­tions date back to 1863 – a likely cause of high pol­lu­tion as “deep, poorly ven­ti­lated tun­nels” make up part of the sys­tem, the re­port said.

Air drawn into the tun­nel net­work be­comes con­tam­i­nated by the wear and tear of rail­way com­po­nents, such as train wheels and brake blocks, it said.

At the deep­est sta­tion, Hamp­stead, the con­cen­tra­tion of PM 2.5 – the small­est par­tic­u­lates that do the most dam­age be­cause they pen­e­trate into the blood­stream – av­er­aged 492 over a 10-day pe­riod in 2018.

That com­pares with an aver­age of just three in ru­ral Scot­land, and 16 on a busy Lon­don road. World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) guide­lines ad­vise lev­els should not ex­ceed a daily mean of 25.

Glob­ally air pol­lu­tion kills about 7 mil-

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