Air pollution experts ‘confused Prestonpans with Preston’

Cockenzie Power Station was demolished in 2016. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Cockenzie Power Station was demolished in 2016. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A global list of places most affected by air pollution mistakenly confused Prestonpans with Preston in Lancashire, it has been claimed.

Published annually by the World Health Organisation (WHO) the comprehensive list ranks the world’s air pollution black spots.

Prestonpans was included as the worst Scottish offender, however, it’s understood the data used was from 2013 - when Cockenzie Power Station was still in operation.

The exact same findings were issued by the WHO two years ago with many led to believe at the time that pollution data from the razed power station was still being included.

East Lothian Council have refuted the suggestion, adding that it was more likely the WHO had muddled Prestonpans with Preston.

READ MORE: End of an era as Cockenzie towers go up in smoke

A spokesperson for the council said: “East Lothian Council are surprised to be included in the list of most polluted towns and cities in the UK.

“The data used in this study is from 2013 and does not necessarily reflect current Air Quality.

“Furthermore, East Lothian Council is of the opinion that the World Health Organisation has mistaken Prestonpans with Preston, which is in England.

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“East Lothian Council presume the mistake in name is related to a mix up at the WHO with their harvesting or governance of the eReporting data used in their study.

“East Lothian Council, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Scottish Government are not aware of any ratified monitoring data for PM2.5 in Prestonpans that indicates any exceedance of the Annual Mean Air Quality Objective of 10ug/m3.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Air Quality within Prestonpans is depicted in the media as dangerous when there is no ratified evidence to suggest this is the case at all.”