the week that a new study warned of toxic particles from air pollution,
which have been linked to Alzheimer’s and perhaps other health issues,
as being abundant in the human brain, a Southampton MP has called for
urgency in tackling our ‘air quality health crisis’.
Cllr Dave Shields (Lab), Southampton City Council cabinet member
responsible for health and sustainability, and Alan Whitehead, MP for
Southampton Test (Lab), attended the All Party Parliamentary Group set
up to look at air pollution issues in the UK..
are an urban community living near a major port and we are affected by a
triple whammy of additional vehicle movements into and out of the
docks, dockside industrial processes and the impact of cruise liners
when in port,” Cllr Shields said.
Alan Whitehead MP agreed with the chair of the group who described poor air quality as a “clear cut public health crisis”.
light of these new findings on the presence of particles from air
pollution in the brain and the continuing evidence on how poor air
quality contributes to lung and heart disease as well as other serious
health issues, there needs to be more urgency in tackling the issue both
locally and nationally. I look forward to working with my colleagues in
Parliament to hopefully implement some solutions.”
One of the
possible solutions Whitehead says he’s raised is shore-to-ship power,
also known as ‘cold ironing’, where cruise liners plug into mains
electricity when they visit the port, reducing their contribution to air
pollution. Another is the possibility of converting certain vehicles in
the city to run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas rather than diesel.
‘Public health emergency’
Batten of Clean Air Southampton commented: “This move by our local
politicians is to be welcomed. We need to remove diesel in all its forms
from our environment - ships, lorries, buses, taxis, trains and private
“We are at the beginning of understanding how many harmful
particles may be in the air we breathe, many of which are yet to be
measured properly. The Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of
Paediatric and Child Health called this a ‘public health emergency’ when
they published their landmark report [Every breath we take] in February this year.
issue is now higher on the agenda and we must start making real changes
to our road, rail and shipping to put people first. Southampton is
being challenged to show how it can be done well.”
Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains - Guardian 5/9/16Previously
Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution - Royal College of Physicians
Clean Air Zone launched – but does it go far enough?
Video: Pollution in Southampton - 'We really must now act'