Friday, November 29, 2013

Volunteers and cash needed for local air pollution tests

Don't Dump On Deptford's Heart are joining forces with the No to Silvertown Tunnel campaign in January to monitor the local air quality. This "citizen science" testing is scheduled to co-incide with official London-wide air quality monitoring at this time.

The local campaign against the Thames Tunnel shaft at Crossfields Green are looking for volunteers to help install the Air Quality Testing tubes on Sunday 5th January 2014 – and help collect them on Sunday 9th February.

Volunteers, in teams of two, will need to go round the area with a stepladder to attach the test tubes to lamp posts, and carefully record the time and date and photograph where they have been placed.

Each kit (which includes a tube, bracket and cable ties) costs £7. This also covers the cost of the lab analysis. Since the campaign has no funds, it needs help from locals. If you are able to spare some cash to help pay for one or more of the tubes, please pledge it by emailing The more cash pledged, the more tubes can be installed.

The campaign would like to place at least 30 tubes besides the roads that will be heavily affected by the Thames Tunnel construction traffic and the three year road closure of two lanes on Deptford Church Street. Since our air quality will be further affected by construction work at Faircharm on Creekside and potentially at Convoys Wharf off Evelyn Street, tubes will be placed at various points on Deptford Church Street, Creekside, Creek Road, Evelyn Street and along the A2 from Blackheath Hill to New Cross (or at least at Deptford Broadway).

Lewisham's own monitoring is not particularly extensive in the immediate vicinity, but unpublished results from Greenwich Council's monitoring showed that the air quality at the Creek Road end of Deptford Church Street is already well above safety levels.

Please help if you can! The tests will aid in establishing already existing high levels of pollution before proposed developments such as Faircharm, Thames Tunnel, Convoys Wharf and others begin.

For Lewisham Council's response to the Thames Tunnel proposals at Crossfields Green, see here – go to the documents section to read their Local Impact Report 2013.

Also see


  1. I'd want more information about exactly what these test tubes - which seem rather primitive at first sight - would be measuring and WHO would be doing the monitoring and interpretation of result - as any questions over reliability up to spec-ness could be used by the opposition to rubbish results.. Few years back I was trying to get attention paid to the dangerous level of pollution in the Evelyn ward and discovered Kings College University had been directly monitoring this via a rather out of date mechanism to gauge dangerous particulate levels as defined by EU regulations. The council finally replaced this device with a more up to date one but it still was not able to measure the finest and most hazardous particulates ! Kings was I understand taking responsibility for monitoring the levels made by this new device. More details about the test tubes measuring abilities and who is providing/interpreting them greatly appreciated Best of luck

    1. Mari,

      It's probably best to get in touch with Don't Dump on Deptford's Heart - they'll know more about the technical information.

    2. It is the same method that is used by the various Councils. I believe it only measures NO2. This from the Network for Clean Air:

      In terms of using the nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes for a 'citizen science' project then probably the best introduction is to watch a You Tube video which describes a similar project in Putney. The Putney presentation was arranged by Network for Clean Air earlier this year, and the video is here:

  2. Air quality monitoring is the job of environmental protection agency. But due to lack of resources and funds it cannot do this job everywhere and concerned organizations have to come up to share its burden. Top 20 reasons to kick the ass of your environmental protection agency

  3. surely is the air quality is already well above safety levels, there is room to add quite a bit more pollution to the area before things come hazardous....

  4. This concept could also be used in other communities- we're all in the same battle. For funds, I feel local entrepreneurs are also ready to help.

  5. So you are basically saying our area is polluted so let's move it to an area which doesn't have pollution? Why on earth would you want a non-polluted area to become polluted? Isn't that just selfish?

  6. Air quality testing is essentially a test during which indoor air is sampled and analyzed to check what it contains.