Thursday, 26 February 2009

Pollution Paranoia

We used to live in town, in Leyton to be precise. Which, along with most of East London can have high levels of pollution, particularly on still days, and close to the A12. One of the scariest, most inadequate moments I've had was walking along Leyton High Road with a baby Ol, at car level in his buggy and realising the air was so polluted I was struggling to breathe let alone a tiny baby.

Of course, clean air was one of the deciding factors in moving out of the city. Most of the time we did not notice the air quality, but every time we went out of the city, even as close as Hertfordshire we noticed the cold improved air. So one of the delights coming to lovely Hastings was the great air, particularly on the sea front of course, nothing like a good sea breeze. Interestingly, have just found out there is nothing intrinsically better about sea air, it just seems better.

However every single time I go up on to Old London Road, in Ore I struggle to find my breath. I have no idea why the pollution is so bad here - its not Hastings 'hot spot' of pollution - which is no surprise near the landfill site and busy Bexhill Road. In fact, I can't find any records anywhere of pollution levels being recorded up here. It is a busy road, with a fair number of lorries and buses , which could be a factor I guess. Or is it just that I'm so used to lovely clean air, when I come across a polluted patch I am more sensitive to it?

What do you think? Can you detect pollution by 'sense' alone? Whose responsibility is it to clean the area?

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