Air quality in Nether Edge has met EU standards only once in six months of monitoring, it has been revealed.
Levels of pollution in the Sheaf Valley, which includes Nether Edge, Sharrow and Abbeydale Road, have been above maximum European Union regulation levels constantly since January, revealed Nether Edge councillor Nikki Bond.
She is leading the Sheaf Valley Clean Air Campaign to raise awareness of polluted air and its links to poor health in a bid to cut car use.
She said: “Abbeydale Road is an arterial road for Sheffield, and Nether Edge is in a bit of a valley, which can exacerbate the problem.
“Last year we agreed a funding application from the East End Quality Of Life Initiative to install monitoring tubes in the area.
“Measurement started in January. There is only one occasion, in February on Chippinghouse Road, where it was within legal limits. It was above it for the rest of the area the rest of the time.
“The limit is 40mg per metre squared of nitrogen dioxide, but levels in the area have been at about 50mg for the duration of the monitoring.
“Air pollution causes cancer, according to research by the World Health Organisation.
“Poor air quality can also have an impact on children’s lung development.”
But Coun Bond was keen to stress air pollution is a problem across Sheffield, not just in Nether Edge.
A report by The Star in June revealed air pollution is causing 500 premature deaths a year in the city at a cost of £160 million to health services annually.
The council published an Air Quality Action Plan last year setting out a range of initiatives to tackle the issue.
The plan includes proposals such as controlling industrial emissions, mitigating the impact of the M1 by pushing for a speed limit reduction and looking into the possibility of introducing a city centre ‘Low Emission Zone’.
Coun Bond said the Sheaf Valley campaign is about raising awareness, including talks at Nether Edge Primary School about air quality, adding: “The purpose is to bring people in the community and the council together to work on raising awareness of poor air quality, in partnership with schools.
“You can’t see or taste air so it’s encouraging people to think about it and consider their car use carefully.”