Surbiton has the worst air quality in south London, according to new data.

New data from IQAir revealed the air quality in Surbiton, Worcester Park, Erith, Norbury, Purley, Staines-upon-Thames, Croydon, and Wandsworth in 2023.

Air quality refers to the condition of the air, and the pollutants, contaminants, and other factors that can affect human health and the environment. 

In this case, Surbiton has the highest level of particulate matter (PM2.5)

The data showed that many areas exceeded the World Health Organisation's recommended 5μg/m³ (micrograms per cubic metre).

Micrograms refer to the tiny pollution particles in the air. 

Surbiton had an average of 13μg/m³ last year, with levels reaching 18.7μg/m³ in February 2023.

Worcester Park had an average of 12.6μg/m³, with its peak being in July 2023 at 13.4μg/m³. 

The area with the lowest average, but did still exceed the WHO's recommended level, was Norbury, which had an average of 7.9μg/m³ and a peak of 12.5μg/m³ in January 2023. 

Norbury did meet the recommended limit in July when its air quality level was 5μg/m³.

In December 2023, Surbiton still had the highest level of pollutants with 9.3μg/m³, whereas Wandsworth had the lowest level of 5.6μg/m³.

A spokesperson for Kingston Council, the council for Surbiton said: "Kingston is committed to reducing levels of particulate matter and other pollutants and our Air Quality Action Plan sets out the steps that we are taking to achieve reductions. 

"The source of data in this case for Surbiton (IQAir) appears to be a single point monitor and results should not be considered representative of the whole area.

"Monitoring and data modelling has shown that the legal target for particulate matter (PM2.5) is broadly met across Kingston, including Surbiton, and has consistently been met for several years.

"In addition, we are meeting the WHO interim target of 15 µg/m3, and in many areas, approaching the final interim target of 10 µg/m3.

"Working toward a greener future, which protects and enhances the environment, is a key priority for the council.

"We know that there is still work to be done and we all have a responsibility to do what we can to reduce the emissions we are responsible for."