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City of London Corporation

Clinical Articles, Lead Article

Will pollution app save London lives?

As we have reported in past updates, studies have repeatedly shown a significant association between levels of air pollution and acute cardiovascular events – including acute coronary syndromes, heart failure, atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. Shifting air pollution levels across London, and the best routes to avoid concentrated areas, can now be viewed using the CityAir app produced by the City of London Corporation and King’s College London.

The pollution map is provided by King’s College and shows the highest levels of all currently measured types of pollution (nitrogen dioxide, small particles, PM10 and PM2.5  and ozone) at a 20 metre resolution across the capital. The app sends alerts when pollution levels are high and provides information on where lower pollution routes can be found to help health-conscious Londoners reduce their exposure.

The amount of pollution in the air varies from day to day depending on the weather conditions, the manufacturers note. Air pollution can have a detrimental impact on health and, armed with the right information, there are simple steps that can be taken to minimise the amount of pollution that people are exposed to.

Andrew Grieve – designer

Users can sign up for tailor-made messages, aimed at joggers, pedestrians, cyclists, businesses, or drivers. The CityAir App is currently available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. An Android version will be available in spring 2014.

Ruth Calderwood, Environmental Policy Officer at City of London and lead on the app said: “The City of London is constantly working to improve the air quality in the city. We hope this new application will help improve London’s air and Londoner’s health by encouraging people to lower their emissions on high pollution days and giving people the option to choose low pollution routes through the city.”

Speaking to BJC Arrhythmia Watch, Ms Calderwood said: “In London on most days the air quality is fine, but occasionally under certain meteorological conditions there can be problems. We want to let people know about this so they can take action themselves, and manage their own behaviour – even if it’s just to go jogging in the evening rather than the morning, or avoid more polluted areas”.

“At City of London, within our capacity as a public health body, we are keen to see local authorities taking on more of a public health role. We will be collaborating with Bart’s Health NHS Trust in the future, to help promote increase awareness of air pollution and other issues,” she added.

Andrew Grieve – Senior Air Quality Analyst at King’s College London and app designer said: “The combination of pollution forecast alerts, tailored advice and low pollution route planning is really a first for this type of application. Modern day pollution is invisible, but we hope the groundbreaking augmented reality 3D view of pollution across the city will help users see the city in a new way, and ultimately improve health by offering lower pollution routes through the city.”

For further information see

You can download the app for free on iPhone here:

Published on: December 20, 2013

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