HEALTH concerns have been raised about the level of air pollution on some of the Vale's busiest roads.

Campaigners said that air pollution levels on two of the area's main roads are "alarmingly high" and are putting children's health at risk.

Plaid Cymru town council candidate for St Augustine's ward, Anne Greagsby, and fellow Friends of the Earth Penarth activist Max Wallis have carried out pollution monitoring on Windsor Road in Cogan.

They say they found "alarming" levels of Nitrogen Dioxide in their study which began in February.

They say they recorded a measurement as high as 60 microgrammes per cubic metre in Cogan and 35 on Cardiff Road in Dinas Powys.

A national survey announced last week that 2,091 schools and nurseries are within 150 yards of a road with dangerous amounts of nitrogen dioxide.

The European Unit legal limit is 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

Friends of the Earth also took measurements at three sites on the main road through Dinas Powys, with highest results by the Murch traffic lights.

Ms Greagsby said: "There is evidence that air pollution worsens lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD)

"In addition, research suggests a role for traffic-generated air pollutants in the development of asthma and COPD, particularly in those living close to busy roads.

"There is also evidence of a link between traffic-related pollution and heart diseases as well as premature death.

"For too long the council has ignored this serious problem. So what can be done about it?

"For people living in Cogan, fit tight windows and doors and keep them closed during periods of peak traffic when near-road pollutant concentrations are typically highest.

She said that anti-idling policies for all vehicles should be considered.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman: "We undertake regular monitoring at specific locations across the Vale to check quantities of harmful emissions remain at an acceptable level," he said,

"The figures quoted would appear to be from a limited sample and so not representative of the overall air quality in the areas mentioned.

"It is also unclear whether the figures have been properly interpreted, taking into account factors that could lead to artificially high readings.

"Data gathered over a significant period of time by the council and interpreted properly indicates levels of harmful emissions in these areas are lower than these figures."

On the subject of traffic, he said that a consultation session focusing on issues and opportunities relating to the Dinas Powys transport network was extremely well attended by the public and that a number of interesting ideas were suggested.

The other candidates standing for town council in the St Augustine's ward include Gary John Allman for the Conservatives, Mike Cuddy for Labour, Liz Fahy for Labour, Nigel John Mark Humphrey for Labour, Yvonne Clare Murphy for Labour, Gwyn Harvard Roberts for Labour, Anthony Slaughter for The Green Party, Simon William Stranks for the Conservatives and Aled Robert Thomas for Plaid Cymru.