Outdoor workers are exposed to air pollution well above the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended limits, according to researchers at King College London.

As part of the British Safety Council’s Time to Breathe campaign, the researchers have developed an app that gathers data based on London’s air quality monitoring stations and gives individual users a read-out of the air pollution they are exposed to at work.

The data confirms that outdoor workers are put at more risk than average Londoners. The WHO says that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk and that reducing air pollution could save millions of lives.

“The first data release confirms that outdoor workers are being exposed to high levels of air pollution with all the health risks that carries. Canairy confirms what we also thought – if you work outside in a city or near a busy road you are putting your health at risk. What is new is that we now have the technology for individual workers to record their exposure. With Canairy and other forms of measurement we are building the evidence base that makes the case for change. As a first step we must urgently adopt the WHO guidelines on PM2.5. But we also need investment in measurement so we can understand who is at risk and how people can limit their exposure to harmful air pollution.”

A new steering group has been established of leading construction and infrastructure companies to look at ways to mitigate the impact of air pollution on outdoor workers.

Read the full report here: Outdoor worker exposure in London: first release from Canairy