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Full Brussels air quality data released by environmental lawyers

Environmental lawyers ClientEarth are releasing the full dataset and measurement methodology from recent air pollution monitoring carried out in Brussels, which charted levels of pollution much higher than that reported by the authorities.

The release comes in response to criticism by the Environment Minister of the study’s robustness and transparency.

Earlier this month, ClientEarth released a cautious interpretation of the data, meaning results could have been up to 24% lower than actual pollution levels. The study also opted for the lowest recorded levels where more than one sample was available for the same location.

Conservative analysis, alarming results

Even with this conservative analysis, the investigation showed levels of pollution almost double the highest official records published by Bruxelles Environnement in several of Brussels’ key thoroughfares.

ClientEarth lawyer Ugo Taddei said: “We are extremely confident in our data, which offers strong indications of unacceptably high levels of pollution in Rue de la Loi, Avenue des Arts and Rue Belliard. In fact, our figures were conservative estimates of the problem.

“What our measurements show is that any criticism should be levelled at the Brussels authorities, who must urgently tackle the illegal levels of pollution in the city and haven’t yet explained why they don’t want to measure air pollution in the most polluted streets.”

The Brussels authorities have been the subject of legal action by ClientEarth over illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in the city since September 2016.

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William Murphy