Source: domdomegg, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As a followup to our 2021 report on air pollution around Bromley schools, Bromley Living Streets managed to get 12 air pollution monitors for schools, as part of a project funded by the charity Asthma and Lung UK (

The monitors need to be set up as soon as possible, so we are reaching out to schools across Bromley Borough and offering the monitors on a ‘first come first served’ basis. If you think your school’s headteacher might agree to putting up the monitors please read on! Here’s what you (and the headteacher) need to know:

What do we need? We need permission from the school to attach three small plastic tubes (called ‘diffusion tubes’) to fences, walls or gates out of reach (we recommend 2 metres off the ground). There needs to be free circulation of air round the tube and they need to be located as near to the road as possible. Each tube will remain in place for 3 to 4 weeks and will then be sent to a lab for analysis. We will get the results back 6 weeks later. (Further details available on request.)

Why is this worth doing? London car pollution is at its highest level since the start of the pandemic, and according to a report published in February 57 Bromley schools exceed the interim WHO guideline for PM2.5, and all Bromley schools exceed the WHO guideline for Nitrogen Dioxide (in particular, see the table on pages 49 to 52 of the report). Air pollution can cause new lung conditions like lung cancer and worsen existing ones like asthma. Children are particularly vulnerable as their lungs are still growing. Results from your school’s diffusion tubes will give an indicative idea of how bad the problem is. The data can be used to raise awareness and demand change. The charity Asthma and Lung UK offers support and ideas for how to take action, including through its ‘Clean Air Champions‘ scheme for primary schools.

What next? Get permission from the school, ideally this week. We are very happy to talk to someone in the school administration if you think this would be helpful, and we are happy to try to help answer any questions you might have. Thanks for taking the time to engage with this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *