Friday, September 05, 2014

Taxi Drivers At Greatest Risk From London's Airborne Pollution Jim Thomas

As a follow up to the post Dave Davies sent us on Tuesday, which pointed out the shock results from the test which showed us, Taxi drivers are exposed to greater levels of dangerous pollution, compared to bus passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

Four different modes of transport (Car/Bus/Walking/Cycling) were measured over an identical rout with Taxi/car drivers having to breath in eight times more pollution than the cyclist.

When you factor in the hours Taxi drivers spend driving round London's polluted streets, it puts them way above other groups in the risk to health category

They say a picture paints a thousand words: 
Below is an image of a face mask particulate filter, worn for just 3 hours on the tube (Middle), 3 hours cycling (right).

Now imagine a Taxi driver working an 8 hour shift!
 The test showed he/she would be breathing in up to 8 times the level of pollution that the cyclist is exposed to. 

Below is a simple test I carried out last year, on the outside surface of my Taxi. 

Having washed the cab in the afternoon, I went to work for a 5 hour stint in Central London aroud 10pm till 3am. Traffic is less congested at night and pollution is considered to be at a lower level.

Next morning, I had a quick trip down to Paddington to drop off some keys. When I got home, I wiped a clean tea towel over the body panels of the taxi.

Air quality: Committee seeks your views on Mayor's submission

The Mayor's office has sent the Committee a written submission in advance of the evidence session with Boris Johnson, on Wednesday 10 September.

Click on these links:

The Committee invites comments on the Mayor’s submission, in particular on the following areas:

  1. How effective have GLA policies on air quality been so far?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the proposed Ultra low emission zone?
  3. What questions should we be asking the Mayor?

If you would like to get involved, please e-mail your views to the Environmental Audit Committee at; 

with 'Air quality comments' in the subject heading.


Anonymous said...

You would think this would be a serious worry for most drivers...yet like the original article "no comments" post a yellow badge based article about a possible extension for example, and everyone wants to fight and is deeply concerned..strange but true.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that because people cant see or smell the pollution it is difficult to convince them that it is there.
The Particulate Matter in pollution is much smaller than it was previously which means that it is suspended in the air for longer and is absorbed through the skin and lung lining, which makes it more harmful.
The Nitrogen Dixoxide -NO2- is also invisible but is extremely harmful.

The photo of the breathing mask filters and the tea towel test that Jim has done clearly shows what drivers are breathing in.