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Tube travellers suffer worst pollution

London smog

Tube and bus passengers in London suffer greater effects of poor air quality than drivers, despite the latter being the cause of the majority of pollution, according to recent research.

Participants in the study by the University of Surrey wore real time air monitors while carrying out 117 round trip commuter journeys in the Capital.

Results revealed that Tube travellers were the most exposed to poor air quality during their commute, followed by those on buses. Tube trains with open windows left passengers far more exposed to air pollution than those with closed windows.

District Line passengers on trains with closed windows were exposed to far lower concentrations of harmful particulate matter (PM) than those travelling on trains with open windows on the same line. PM levels were higher on trains on the Victoria and Northern Lines, all of which had open windows, and in particular on those in tunnels.

But the research did not find conclusive evidence to suggest that those from more deprived areas were more exposed to pollution than those from less deprived areas.

It is estimated that around 9,400 Londoners die every year due to poor air quality.


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