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Piarve

Health effects of air pollution

Piarve's story

9 March 2020

Piarve is the parent of Janila, 8, and has lived in Southwark all her life. Piarve works in events for an interior design company, as well as running sewing classes and other community fashion initiatives.

Meet Piarve

Piarve is the parent of Janila, 8, and has lived in Southwark all her life. Piarve works in events for an interior design company, as well as running sewing classes and other community fashion initiatives.

Piarve spends a lot of time in and around Surrey Quays. While the pollution levels around this area aren’t as high as other parts of Southwark there are still pockets of high pollution near main roads.

  • Her two workplaces – both moderate levels of air pollution (43 ug/m3)
  • Deptford – low level of air pollution off the main road (37 ug/m3), high on the main road (49 ug/m3)
  • Fish market in East London – moderate level of air pollution (40 ug/m3)
  • Local park – low levels of air pollution (37 ug/m3)
  • Local woodland – low levels of air pollution (37 ug/m3)
Piarve studying
Piarve walking with her son

Piarve's experience

I prefer to drive. I’ve always found Southwark is really difficult with transport because nothing’s really quite connected. It’s just easier and quicker to drive. 

I don’t think the air quality’s great in London. I know it’s caused a lot of health issues for people, especially young kids. Sometimes, when it’s a cold, misty day you can feel the air is thicker, but it’s not in my face or something I’ve really considered. I’ve just never thought about it.

Certain areas just have a certain smell, like if you go intro central you can just smell petrol fumes.

Apart from driving less I can't really think of anything else to reduce air pollution.

Piarve

It’s a good idea but at the same time I don’t know who’ll benefit from it. It’s good for the environment maybe, but a lot of parents will probably struggle with it. So it’s not very fair.

It will just deviate the problem. Because if you think about it, when you block off one road it just means all the cars will go to another road. So you’re causing probably just as bad pollution and traffic in another area.

I know driving loads is bad and you get smelly air or whatever. I know it exists and I know it’s bad and I know how I’m contributing to it. But I guess I’m like, yeah, I’m not fully aware of the implications.

It's difficult because you think to yourself, ok so I'm working and I'm doing all these things so that I can afford to live in a place and it's like well for me to be able to do all of that I need to drive.