Looking for a new reason to skive work? Try 'the pollution levels are too high for me to leave the house'. Yep, a new pollution-forecasting app has just been launched to warn Londoners when air quality in the city reaches dangerous levels, and when it's safest to head out.
The app, called Plume Air Report, was originally released in Paris, where chronic pollution shortens life expectancy by six months. The app will be especially useful in our traffic-crammed city, where nearly every borough is above the legal pollution limit.
It uses data collected from examining pollutant sources like nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide at 11,000 stations in 30 countries. Then it rates the risk to health using a colour-coded system, from blue 'fresh' to dark grey 'extreme pollution'.
The advice is then tailored to the needs of cyclists, runners, parents and children, and those eating al fresco, with another colour-coded system explaining how safe each activity is.