Thursday, 16 February 2017

Lead poisoning?

Well, what a foul and murky day it's been! It's rained a lot. The skies have been horribly grey and I've heard nothing but the sibilant roar of car wheels on wet tarmac. As I walked back from the cafe this evening it suddenly struck me how much effort Londoners' brains must put into filtering out the sounds of traffic. It's a constant part of our lives, which also, of course, means that pollution is a very real problem. We live on the A1, and our windows are permanently covered in schmutz. There probably isn't a window cleaner who'd be able to reach our windows up on the third floor, but if there were, his handiwork wouldn't last long. 

Nathan heard a programme on Radio 4 the other day which involved the presenter wandering through central London, wearing one of those special back packs which monitors pollution. The levels were, as you'd expect, worryingly high, to the extent that the advice has become to stick to back alleys and side streets as much as possible to avoid drinking in too many exhaust fumes. Interestingly, by far the highest spike in the readings came when the presenter took a taxi back to base at the end of his walk. The air conditioning in a vehicle effectively pumps the exhaust fumes from the car in front straight into the respiratory systems of the driver and passengers. This effect is worsened in slow moving traffic, which, of course, sums London up, particularly now that most borough operate 20 mph speed limits.

I wonder if I'm slowly dying from lead poisoning?

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