Environmental protestors staged a dramatic 'die-in' protest in Kingston to highlight air pollution in the borough Wednesday (June 19).

The protestors from climate activist group Extinction Rebellion (XR) carried banners and distributed flyers highlighting the dangers posed by toxic air pollution in Kingston.

At one point during the afternoon, eight activists from the group staged a silent 'die-in' protest outside the Bentall Shopping Centre — lying down, motionless, in order to represent the deaths and health problems caused by air pollution.

The protest came one day ahead of Clean Air Day, the UK's largest air pollution campaign, which falls on Thursday, June 20.

Speaking to the Comet, one of the coordinating activists, Pat Dobson, said that air pollution represented a grave threat to public health in the borough.

"It was to highlight Clean Air Day...and in particular the dangers of nitrogen dioxide in Kingston," Ms Dobson said.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is a harmful gas associated with air pollution in modern urban centres such as London.

As the Comet reported earlier this year, a recent study of air pollution in London boroughs found that a site in Kingston (14-16 Cromwell Road) contained 74.4 micrograms of NO2 per cubic metre in 2017, making it one of the most toxic places for air quality in Greater London.

Kingston Council (RBK) have pledged to tackle the issue and will be promoting a series of policies and events Thursday to mark Clean Air Day.

The council will also debate whether to join dozens of other councils and the UK government itself in declaring a "climate emergency" next week at a meeting of the Environment and Sustainable Transport Committee next Tuesday (June 25).

"They're making the right noises," Ms Dobson said of RBK's approach to improving air quality in the borough, citing the Go Cycle routes developed by the council in Kingston as a particular point for optimism.

Nevertheless, the dangers posed by air pollution in the borough remain serious on the eve of Clean Air Day 2019.

"It's a very big concern with several schools in the Cromwell Road area. The young children's lungs are affected if they're exposed to too-high a level of NO2," Ms Dobson said.