Illegal levels of air pollution have been confirmed at Birmingham’s Perry Park – a stone’s throw from Birmingham’s big 2022 moment, where thousands of athletes will compete in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Perry Park, one of the locations featured in an alarming air pollution report out today (February 11) , was found to have nitrogen dioxide (NO₂) levels above the UK legal limit.
The park is a short distance from where the new athletes village is being built to house 6,500 competitors at the 2022 Games, before being converted into around 1,200 homes.
It runs adjacent to Alexander Stadium, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies as well as all athletics events at the 2022 Games.
The stadium itself, set to undergo a £72.5 million revamp for the Games, had nitrogen dioxide levels well below the legal limit.
But of 21 sports and recreation sites in the city visited by EarthSense researchers, all but one had high levels of particulate pollution (PM2.5), close to the World Health Organisation (WHO) limit.
Particulate pollution is considered especially dangerous because the microscopic particles enter via the lungs and get absorbed into the bloodstream. It is associated with serious health conditions including lung cancer, asthma, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and depression.
Launched as part of the Breathe GB campaign to highlight pollution’s impact on athletes of the future, the report comes after Birmingham was one of five cities ordered by the Government last year to set up a clean air zone to cut down on dirty air.
Dr Suzanne Bartington, Public Health Doctor and Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, said: “It cannot be right young that children are having their future health and sporting talent limited by the air they breathe.
“We need both local and national government to work together to improve air quality across Birmingham.”Dr Suzanne Bartington