Air Pollution

Clean air for you and your children?

We all want to be able to breathe clean, fresh air.  Sadly, the residents of Luton and surrounding areas cannot do this because our local air is polluted by aircraft emissions and our over-congested roads.

Already (before the airport is expanded), local residents complain that they can smell aircraft fuel when they go for what should be a pleasant walk across the park or through the countryside. 

How does air pollution from Luton’s flights affect local people?

Luton’s air pollution is a public health emergency

Across the UK, the air that children breathe is damaging their health.  The damage dirty air can do to children’s lungs may never be reversed and can increase their risk of developing health problems in later life. And it affects the rest of us too.

Locally this is a critical issue.  We all have a right to clean air, a peaceful sleep and access to local green spaces.  But Luton Council wants to expand the airport and build a major road through it, which would bring far more traffic, noise and pollution.  We do not believe this should happen.

Breathing illegal levels of air pollution can kill.  Here’s a link to an article showing how air pollution (caused by both traffic and aeroplanes) triggers asthma attacks, and can make them more severe.


So how will airport expansion affect the air you breathe?

In Luton pollution has been made worse by rapid airport expansion from 9 to 16m passengers in 5 years, making us the fourth most congested town. Vehicle exhausts are the biggest source of dangerous pollution, especially diesel vehicles, which emit tiny particles that enter our lungs. Every million passengers = 1 million car journeys. Taxis are nearly all diesels. 8000 airport workers make the problem worse, as most travel daily by car.

Some road junctions near the airport are already close to or are exceeding dangerous air pollution levels.  If a new road is built or the airport expanded, this will increase pollution levels. We believe that no road building or expansion should be allowed to take place before substantial actions have been taken to reduce sources of air pollution.

Diesel and aircraft fuels increase nitrogen dioxide levels, and also increase the dangerous fine particles in the air.   These particles have a name – they are called PM2.5, and are so small they can only be detected with an electron microscope.  Owing to their minute size, these particles are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs.

It is this that can cause illness and even death. If the situation is so bad now, how much worse will it become if the airport is allowed to expand and if Wigmore Valley Park is destroyed?

We urgently need to protect children who are living close to Luton airport and under the flight paths over surrounding towns and villages.

Article from ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband and Conservative MP Maria Miller:

Link to Kate Hampton at the Royal Institution of London, where she is jointed by politicians, activists and artists sharing her Talanoa story about the impact of climate change on children’s health. She highlights the impacts of poor air quality and other climate change related factors on children: 

And a thread on climate change and flights:

And a link to David Attenborough talking about climate change (flights and vehicle emissions contribute massively to climate change).

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