Free Air Pollution Alerts to your Mobile
25th February 2019
If you ‘re concerned about air quality in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire – maybe you have a respiratory condition such as asthma, or you regularly exercise outside – a new notification service called ‘Herts & Beds Air Pollution Alert System’ could be invaluable.
North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC), along with Ricardo Energy and Environment and ten other Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Local Authorities has signed up to the service, which provides a text or email alert straight to your mobile when levels of air pollution in your area increase to a moderate level or above.
Cllr Alex Michaels, Lead Member for Environment for Three Rivers District Council, said: “This useful app send alerts before moderate, high, or very high levels of air pollution are forecast. It is free to sign up, and you can choose to receive emails or text messages, enabling you to find out when air pollution is at elevated levels in the area in which you live, work, or travel.“
This service sits alongside a website that provides ‘at-a-glance’ air quality information for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Coloured markers on a map pinpoint exact areas and give an immediate pollution summary ranging from 1-10.
The launch of the new service is timely as the Government recently published its Clean Air Strategy in January 2019, which looks to local authorities to provide pollution alerts and cut pollution.
Councillor Bernard Lovewell, NHDC’s Executive Member for Housing and Environmental Health, said: “We have been monitoring air quality in the district since the mid-1990s and air quality is generally good. The Herts & Beds Air Pollution Alert System is a brilliant example of how technology can help us reduce our exposure to air pollution. It will also enable those who are more vulnerable to air pollution to be better prepared to manage its effects. The service is quick and easy to use, and it will be particularly beneficial to residents who have health conditions or spend a lot of time outside. It forms part of NHDC’s commitment to improve air quality and has the added benefit that it will raise awareness of blackspots in our district and further afield.”
County Councillor Tim Hutchings, HCC’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Prevention, said: “Poor air quality affects everyone, but it has a disproportionate impact on the young, the old, the sick and the poor. It is not an easy challenge to solve and can only be tackled through collective action. I am delighted to support this initiative; it will provide an early warning service which will enable people to take action using, if necessary, to minimise the effects of pollution episodes on their health.”
To sign up visit: www.airqualityengland.co.uk