Data from a pollution monitor located on Warrender Park Road near the High School, measuring particulate pollution (PM10, PM2.5). Particulate pollution is commonly caused by Diesel engines, woodburning stoves, and motor vehicle brake- and tyre- wear dust.
Currently, the World Health Organisation identifies safe levels of PM10s (particulates measuring under ten micrometres) as under 20µg/m³ (micrograms per cubic metre). The EU’s safe particulate matter level for PM10s is 40µg/m³. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that PM2.5 levels of 35.5µg/m³ are unhealthy for children and levels above to 55.4µg/m³ are harmful.
PM10s are implicated in causing asthma and PM2.5s can even enter the bloodstream via the lungs due to their small size.
PM10 and PM2.5 data over the last 24 hours (µg/m³):
PM10 and PM2.5 rolling average (µg/m³)
There is no safe amount of tiny particles called PM2.5s that are pumped into the atmosphere by traffic and industry.
An analysis identified several new causes of hospital admissions linked to small increases in particulate matter, such as sepsis and kidney failure. Others included urinary tract and skin infections.
This was on top of established ones such as heart and lung conditions, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes.
More than one in 29 deaths are caused by air pollution here [in Edinburgh], with 157 deaths being directly linked to the pollutant PM2.5.
These terrifying figures make it clear that we must be taking fast and direct action to tackle pollution in our city. The council’s City Mobility Plan includes a number of initiatives to reduce the need for private car use.