Not enough smog alerts for polluted Putney
London Assembly Member Jenny Jones has hit out at the Mayor of London for not issuing smog alerts.
More smog alerts could improve the lives of people living in the borough, with Putney High Street regularly breaking European Union limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Scientists have said NO2 can cause asthma in young children, and can result in heart attacks as well as strokes in adults.
Ms Jones has criticised the Government for only issuing one smog warning per year, arguing that more warnings would allow people prone to health problems to stay inside when pollution levels are high.
An airTEXT service is available to anyone who wants to be warned when pollution levels are high, but only 6,500 people have signed up.
Ms Jones said: "The Mayor is letting Londoners down by risking their health.
"The Mayor should step forward to help protect the health of any Londoner who is particularly vulnerable to dirty air, that is children and anyone who has a lung or heart problem, and those visiting the capital.
"He should also be advertising the airTEXT service so that people can get this information straight to their phone."
A petition has also been launched calling on Boris Johnson to get serious about air pollution, which members of Wandsworth Environment Forum are encouraging people to sign.
The petition said: "During his last term, Boris did little to reduce the capital's serious pollution problem.
"In fact many of his moves, such as scrapping congestion charges and ignoring the EU's minimum requirements, were completely counter-productive."
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "We want to keep improving air quality and reduce the impact it can have on human health and the environment.
"Our air quality has improved significantly in recent decades and is now generally very good, and almost all of the UK meets EU air quality limits for all pollutants.
"There are some limited areas where air pollution remains an issue but that’s being dealt with by the air quality plans, which set out all the important work being done at national, regional and local levels to make sure we meet EU limits as soon as we can."
Defra also have a UK Air website and phone number for people sensitive to air pollution to contact, with email bulletins available for people to subscribe to.
A pollution alert was issued in April this year by Defra informing people warmer weather increases air pollutants.
TfL has promised there will be 131 cleaner buses in Putney High Street by March next year, including 10 hybrid vehicles.
Visit airtext.info for smog updates and care2.com/go/z/e/AGpwn/zm2u/BnXJw to sign the petition.
Visit uk-air.defra.gov.uk or call 0800 556677.