The research is being funded by an air quality grant from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Air quality officers will install a temporary monitoring station outside the main entrance of The Exchange shopping centre. The new equipment will measure the levels of two airborne pollutants in real time - nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles.
The council uses passive diffusion tubes to keep track of NO2 levels across the borough. Readings have indicated high concentrations at Putney High Street.
The temporary station will determine the accuracy of the diffusion tube data and will provide a detailed picture of the site’s air quality over the next 12 months.
Executive member for the environment Malcolm Grimston said:
"Putney High Street suffers from heavy traffic and it’s important we understand the full impact on air quality. The new equipment will provide a much clearer picture of people’s daily exposure. The council’s air quality action plan includes a range of measures aimed at reducing pollution and increasing people’s awareness of polluting behaviour.
"The plan embraces free vehicle emissions testing, introducing electric car charging points, training dry cleaners to reduce their emissions, environmental theatre productions in primary schools and a campaign to encourage parents to switch off their engines when picking up children from school. We have also introduced the airTEXT messaging service which warns residents when high pollution levels are forecast."