In the early hours of Monday 28 May, a fire at a chemical processing plant on the Greenwich Peninsula resulted in a large plume of smoke that travelled west/southwesterly across London. The LAQN monitoring sites in Southwark, Lewisham , Wandsworth and Richmond all recorded peaks in particulate pollution. Recorded concentrations decreased as the plume travelled west and dispersed. Peak levels of 632 ug/m3 for PM10 particulate (as an hourly reading) were recorded in Southwark, closest to the fire and where the impact was seen for around 4 hours from when the fire started. This compared to a background reading at the time of around 34 ug/m3.
The Environmental Research Group at King’s College London, as managers of the London Air Quality Network, were contacted by the Health Protection Agency for information on pollution levels detected across London.
The London Fire Brigade reported that they sent 12 engines and 60 firefighters. The fire started just before 03:30 and was under control by 07:00.
The plume grounding recorded at Southwark contributed around 34 ug/m3 to the daily average of 77ug/m3 and resulted in ‘high’ PM10. At the Lewisham site the plume contributed around 18ug/m3 to the daily average of 53.9 and resulted in ‘moderate’ PM10. Plume grounding at other monitoring locations did not result in a higher banding.
Photo Credit: Phil Fastlane @Topspeed007 on Twitter
Item date 28/05/2012