Monitoring of air quality in the borough takes place 24 hours a day at two automatic continuous monitoring stations. There is one monitor on Holloway Road, near the Nags Head, and one near the Ecology Centre.
These continuous monitoring stations measure two of the main pollutants; nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM10).
For detailed information and reporting of data from these sites please visit the London Air Quality Network website.
In addition, the council has 20 permanent diffusion tubes located across the borough to give a broad overview of nitrogen dioxide levels every month. Diffusion tubes are not as accurate as the continuous monitoring stations, but provide information on air pollution trends over time across the borough.
The results of these tubes and the automatic monitors are published each year in our Annual Status Report and support the ongoing review and assessment of air quality in the borough.
Since July 2018 we have been measuring air pollution using diffusion tubes at all of the schools in the borough. On top of this the council carries out adhoc monitoring to make sure various projects have the desired effect such as the changes to Old Street roundabout and School Streets. This means we have almost 200 diffusion tubes across the borough.
At our request other organisations may carry out pollution monitoring such as dust monitoring at construction sites.
Monitoring air quality at every school
In 2021, we published data showing nitrogen dioxide (NO2) air pollution levels at all primary and secondary schools in the borough for 2018 to 2021 in the Air Quality Annual Status Report 2021. Overall, our monitoring has shown improvements in air quality outside schools over this time period.
As pollution can vary from year to year, for example due to changes in weather conditions, or with the impacts of the COVI-19 pandemic lockdowns, it is important to see a single year’s data in the context of longer-term trends.
Monitoring data at schools ranged from 25-42µg/m3 in 2018, 17-45µg/m3 in 2019 and 15-34µg/m3 in 2020 and 17-30 µg/m3 in 2021.
Read the full data set for air quality surrounding schools and across the borough more widely on our reports page.
Maps showing average nitrogen dioxide levels at Islington schools in 2019 and 2020
Islington will continue to monitor pollution outside schools and use this information to better inform council decisions where further work is required.
We are taking multiple measures to improve air quality in Islington
These measures include:
- An ambitious air quality strategy which sets out targets and actions to improve air quality
- Increasing the number of School Streets – which reduce traffic at schools at drop-off and pick-up to improve air quality and boost safety - to 30 by the end of 2020/21. Islington already has more school streets than any other UK borough. You can have your say on new proposed School Streets here.
- Encouraging people to move away from polluting vehicles by an ambitious programme of charging points for electric vehicles. We aim to install 400 charging points by the end of March 2022 and by introducing the surcharge for parking diesel vehicles.
- Plans to electrify the entire council fleet of over 500 vehicles.
- Introducing ultra-low emission streets in the south of the borough.