A new public health website where people can plot low pollution routes to work has been created by air quality experts at King’s College London.
Breathelondon.org offers tools such as pollution forecasts and a street-by-street low pollution route planner updated every hour, to enable people to alter their movement around the city to reduce their exposure levels.
The launch of the website is part of a new project, BreatheLondon, providing community groups with access to scientific expertise and equipment to carry out their own air pollution monitoring. Communities will be able to propose their own projects via the website, a number of which will be supported each year. This ‘community-led’ approach to air pollution research will help King’s researchers develop better methods for encouraging behavioural change and improving public health.
The website’s aim is to provide public health advice and tools to help individuals to reduce the risk of harm from air pollution. The website will also act as a shop window for the results of the BreatheLondon community monitoring project and research on reducing people’s exposure to air pollution.
Professor Frank Kelly, Environmental Research Group, King’s College London, said: ‘We want initiatives like BreatheLondon to raise public awareness of the health impacts of air pollution and how they can be minimised, and we hope that our new website will encourage people to adopt patterns of travel that reduce their exposure to air pollution.’
Dr Ben Barratt, Environmental Research Group, King’s College London, said: ‘Our new website breathelondon.org, along with our air pollution apps, CityAir and LondonAir, give people access to information on what they are breathing as they move around the city. We hope more people, particularly those with respiratory conditions like asthma, will make use of this freely available data to reduce the effects of air pollution on their health.’
The research was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The views expressed are those of the authors (s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.