Pigeons come up as the most unexpected agents in fight against air pollution in London

Pigeons come up as the most unexpected agents in fight against air pollution in

Pollution-sensing backpacks were attached to a small flock of pigeons on Monday, who were set free into the skies of London for three days for monitoring air pollution levels in the city.

The Guardian reported that the backpacks have been created to monitor levels of nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases discharged by vehicles across the city.

Thereafter, the information was circulated via the Twitter account @PigeonAir to create awareness regarding the bad impact of air pollution on London.

While speaking to The Guardian, Pierre Duquesnoy, who received a London Design Festival award for the project last year, said that it is a health and environmental issue for human beings and pigeons. He said that they are helping make the invisible visible and he expects that their efforts will raise awareness among people.

Plume Labs, a company that makes air quality reports, has created this pigeon patrol in collaboration with the marketing agency DigitasLBi and Twitter.

Duquesnoy said that generally Beijing hits the headlines due to its soaring air pollution levels, but there are times when pollution was higher and quite toxic in London.

The flock of birds looked something like a group of avian ghostbusters, quipped with their high-tech backpacks. The mission of the birds ended on Wednesday with their return to London home base.

Until now, the readings have demonstrated the parts of the city fluctuating between moderate and high levels of pollution.

According to Gary Fuller, an air quality expert at King's College London, the idea of pollution-sensing pigeons is very important to divert attention towards a serious public health and environmental concern.

He told The Guardian that it’s superb that Trafalgar Square’s unemployed pigeons have been put to work. He added, “Around 15 years ago tests were done on around 150 stray dogs in Mexico City, showing ways air pollution was affecting health. But this is first time I've heard of using urban wild animals to carry sensors to give picture of air pollution in skies”.


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