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Greens warn of ‘public health crisis’ due to toxic air in east London

PUBLISHED: 11:17 18 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:17 18 March 2014

Green campaigners have warned of a “public health crisis” due to the amount of toxic pollution in the air in east London.

A new report by the London Green Party - released on March 14 - reveals that the level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air in London is well above the safe limit set by EU law.

The party measured the levels of NO2 in parts of Camden between November and December 2013 and found them to be nearly double the legal limit.

Activists say the levels are likely to be higher in east London.

In October, Friends of the Earth told the Recorder that at half of the 30 locations in Newham they tested in June 2013 the levels of NO2 were higher than the EU’s legal annual limit.

Caroline Allen, the Green Party’s number two MEP candidate, said: “This is a public health crisis. Air pollution is the biggest killer after smoking

“More than 4,000 premature deaths in London are caused by air pollition.”

She said the pollution increases the risk of killer diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and called for a range of measures to tackle the problem.

“There are things local authorities can do with the help of the Mayor of London,” she said.

Ms Allen suggested low pollution zones like those in Berlin, more hybrid buses, banning the worst offending lorries, reducing traffic around schools and planting bushes and trees.

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