Cities and 44 UK towns breaching air pollution limits

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November 10, 2017

A new study has found 44 UK cities and towns have dangerous levels of air pollution.

The findings, discovered by researchers from the Royal College of Physicians, signify degrees of ‘PM2.5’– microscopic particles suspended in the air — are all over and above recommended amounts in many metropolitan locations.  

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Even the World Health Organisation states PM2.5 levels shouldn’t exceed 10 micrograms per cubic metre of air, but moderate concentrations of these particles at Glasgow and Scunthorpe were 16 micrograms per cubic metre at 2016, whilst mean amounts in London, Leeds, Southampton and Salford were listed at 15 micrograms per cubic metre within the exact same period.

Of those 51 cities and towns at the ambient air pollution database of the World Health Organisation, 44 breached recommended constraints in 2016, together with inhabitants one of those in Birmingham, Bristol, Eastbourne, Leeds and Manchester. Individuals living in Bournemouth, Sunderland, Aberdeen and Reading, meanwhile, will be able to find out their home cities met or undercut recommended PM2.5 amounts.

PM2.5 particles have been described as solid or liquid particles under 2.5 microns in diameter that are suspended in the air. These particles are created by any number of resources, but research suggests road transport is responsible for a significant proportion of kerbside PM2.5 amounts. Excessive concentrations of these particles is associated with several health ailments, including respiratory ailments and illness such as asthma.

The report authors stated initiatives that aim to undertake urban pollution — such as that the recently-introduced T-Charge at London  – were “much needed”, but Dr Toby Hillman, one of the researchers behind the study, cautioned: “we know the effects of poor air quality operate out of cradle to grave; it’s a life threat to human health.”

WHO’s UK ambient air pollution set

Town/city Mean 2016 PM2.5 amounts (μg/m3)

Glasgow 16
Scunthorpe 16
Eastbourne 15
Leeds 15
London 15
Salford 15
Southampton 15
Armagh 14
Birmingham 14
Cardiff 14
Chepstow 14
Gibraltar 14
Oxford 14
Port Talbot 14
Portsmouth 14
Stanford-le-Hope 14
Stoke-on-Trent 14
Thurrock 14
Warrington 14
Bristol 13
Leamington Spa 13
Manchester 13
Newport 13
Norwich 13
Wigan 13
Belfast 12
Carlisle 12
Hull 12
Liverpool 12
Nottingham 12
Plymouth 12
Prestonpans 12
Swansea 12
York 12
Birkenhead 11
Brighton 11
Londonderry 11
Middlesbrough 11
Saltash 11
Southend-on-Sea 11
Chesterfield 10
Newcastle upon Tyne 10
Reading 10
Stockton-on-Tees 10
Wrexham 10
Aberdeen 9
Bournemouth 9
Grangemouth 9
Sunderland 9
Edinburgh 8
Inverness 6

Is the city or town to the list? What should be done in order to decrease air pollution? Join the debate in the remarks section below…