Supporting the aims of Clean Air Day (20th June 2019), the Guardian has published a short film demonstrating the changing levels of pollution that children are exposed to as they walk to school in London. The film can be viewed here: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/video/2019/jun/19/toxic-school-run-how-polluted-is-the-air-that-children-breathe-video
The Guardian Cities team worked closely with their colleagues in multimedia to create a film showing real-time air quality data as a mother takes her young children to school in north London. The video features mother-of-two Natasa pushing a pram and walking her daughter along Marylebone Road, with a Particles Plus instrument attached to the pram and an AQMesh pod on her daughter’s backpack.
The most important air quality parameters are displayed on-screen during the walk, with data including PM10, PM2.5 and Nitrogen Dioxide. The film producers have cleverly integrated the European yearly mean limits for these parameters into the display, with readings changing from blue to red when they exceed the limit, (which for PM10 and NO2 was most of the time!).
Documentary producer Anetta Jones, said: “Air quality is a vitally important issue for the health and wellbeing of city dwellers, but the main pollution threats are invisible, so we hope that initiatives such as this will help residents and visitors to better understand the threat that they face.”
The monitoring equipment was supplied by Air Monitors Limited. Their David Green said: “We have recently installed large numbers of AQMesh pods all over London as part of the Breathe London project (www.breathelondon.org), and data from these pods will be displayed on the project website. However, video is an enormously popular medium, and it is really exciting to see what can be achieved when the latest technologies in multimedia and air quality monitoring combine.”