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27 May 2008

New check on air pollution

A HI-TECH state of the art air quality monitoring station has been set up in Eastbourne to monitor for ultra small airborne toxic particulates.

It will provide a check on air pollution which may be carried to Eastbourne after a controversial new waste incinerator comes into use in Newhaven.

The monitoring station has been set up in Holly Place in Willingdon Trees in a joint project between the University of Brighton, local resident Colin Amess and his associated companies, and Eastbourne Borough Council.

The partners say it will fill a gap in the measurement of minute toxic particles that are not within the statutory measurement criteria for the Environment Agency in its evaluation of risk from incineration plant pollution.

The council has funded and provided the site and the University of Brighton and Mr Amess are providing equipment able to capture these fine particles from the air.

The University of Brighton will carry out the analysis of the captured material to record the chemical make up of the particles.
The project reflects increasing concern by the international scientific community that the toxic effects of particles smaller than the Environment Agency's current baseline are disproportionately more harmful to health and remain largely unmonitored.

By analysing the chemical 'fingerprint' of any pollution and its journey path, the monitoring station will be able to provide information to show whether the operation of the proposed Newhaven incinerator will cause a significant increase in pollution when it becomes operational.

The station will also provide general air quality information.