Azara Blog: Oxford Street has a lot of pollution

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Date published: 2005/12/07

The BBC says:

High levels of pollution in London's main shopping street could trigger an asthma attack, experts warn.

Scientists at Imperial College London found the damaging effects of pollution on asthmatics were much greater in Oxford Street.

Levels of sooty particles from diesel vehicles were found to be five times higher than in Hyde Park.

The particles, known as PM10s, become trapped in the lungs and have links to respiratory problems and cancer.

Experts asked 60 asthmatics to walk at their normal pace in each location for two hours on separate occasions.

They found lung function was most affected after walking in Oxford Street for two hours. However, the adverse effects continued for 24 hours.

Notice how the BBC manages to discuss the problem without mentioning what happens to be the source of the problem. Could it be that all those buses and taxis going up and down Oxford Street are causing this high level of pollution? (Ordinary) cars are not allowed on most of Oxford Street so unfortunately the chattering classes can't do their usual bleating about (private) cars. (For some reason the chattering classes don't count taxis as private cars.) Otherwise you can bet the BBC would have mentioned cars in the article. Of course Oxford Street is a dreadful place to shop completely independently of the pollution problem. Rather like being a rat squashed in a cage with thousands of other rats.

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