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Air Pollution, London

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the level of air pollution in London; what targets he has for reducing it; and if he will make a statement.

Air quality is currently monitored automatically at four sites in London by my Department.So far this year the air quality measured at these four sites has been "good" or "very good" on at least 96 per cent of days. On occasions particularly during hot sunny weather, photochemical smog may be produced which can lead to poor air quality.The main source of air pollution in London is vehicle exhaust emissions. Measures to deal with such emissions include the requirement for catalytic converters on new cars from 1 January this year. This will reduce emissions from each car by at least 80 per cent. In addition, the MOT emission check introduced for cars from 1 November 1991 should secure substantial reductions in carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons. A metered smoke test was introduced in the annual test for heavy diesels on 1 September this year.