Over 1,300 sites across England breach air pollution targets

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According to Friends of the Earth, more than 1,300 locations across England are breaking the nitrogen dioxide air quality targets.

Nitrogen dioxide is linked with a variety of lung and respiratory problems which can especially cause problems for people with asthma. Nitrogen dioxide is mainly emitted by road vehicles.

Friends of the Earch studied the local authority data and have stated that the amount of sites that which broke the nitrogen dioxide target was ‘shocking’. Not only does nitrogen dioxide have negative effects of health but it also contributes to climate change.

It was found that the worst place for nitrogen dioxide levels was in fact not a city but an area of the A35 which passes through Chideock, a small village in West Dorset.

Chideok recorded an annual average of 97.7 micrograms per metre cubed of nitorgen dioxide which is over double the governments annual air quality objective of 40.

Whilst emissions from road vehicles are the major threat to air pollution, industrial and domestic producers also contribute to the problem.

Road vehicles do not just add nitrogen dioxide to the atmosphere, but they also contribute carbon monoxide and particulate matter. These both cause further health problems and add to climate change.

Friends of the Earth did note that there had been a small improvement in air pollution numbers since their last study when nearly 1,600 sites were breaking the nitrogen dioxide targets.

Simon Bowens from Friends of the Earth also commented that the government needs to ‘end its damaging fixation’ with wanting to build more roads.

The data was collected by using the most up to date Air Quality Annual Status Reports which are submitted to government.

The reports are made up of data from the previous year which means that more often than not the most up to date data would be from 2018.

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