Failure to check air quality slammed

A FAILURE to monitor potentially dangerous levels of deadly toxins has left ­people living in fear.

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West End residents have expressed fears about toxin levels
West End residents have expressed fears about toxin levels

Residents living in or near Byres Road have raised concerns about their health with Glasgow City Council.

Earlier this week the Evening Times revealed the air pollution monitor has been out of action for seven months.

It means that potentially life-threatening levels of cancer-causing pollutants may not have been picked up, putting vulnerable people's lives at risk.

Concerned locals say people, especially those with asthma and breathing difficulties, are affected.

Last year, members of Hillhead Community Council launched a sub-committee to focus solely on addressing issues surrounding air quality in Byres Road.

They held a meeting with council officers in December and were informed the Byres Road air monitor had been ­offline since September.

Glasgow City Council is taking legal action against the supplier who has failed to repair the unit.

More than 300 people are being killed every year in Glasgow as a result of air pollution - higher than any other city in Scotland.

Across the city, levels of deadly pollutants are regularly breaking Scottish standards.

Last year, the Byres Road unit recorded levels of one type of air pollution higher than the limit, leading to fears that the broken monitor might have missed hazardous levels of another type - the deadly particulate pollution it failed to record.

Particulate pollution - caused by traffic - is dangerous to children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions.

Eric Kay, chairman of the Air Quality Sub Group, said: "There is evidence from local neighbours that their own health is affected, particularly people with asthma and breathing difficulties.

"There is a general belief that there is problems with air pollution in the area."

One local resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "The council does not consider Byres Road to be a residential street but is it densely populated.

"Their attitude to Byres Road is flawed and it is more important for them to keep traffic flowing."

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "We regularly meet with the community council on air quality matters and provide area specific updates outwith the Local Air Quality Management reporting schedule.

"The monitoring ­station in Byres Road is located at a roadside site at a busy junction and is likely to represent a worst case scenario.

"Residential properties in the area are likely to experience lower pollution levels than those recorded at the station.

"This is reflected in the lower pollution levels recorded away from the monitoring station."

matty.sutton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Environment

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