Pollution map reveals unsafe air quality at almost 2,000 UK sites

(The Guardian, 27 Feb 2019) London, Leeds, Doncaster and Maidstone are among the worst affected.

Almost 2,000 locations across the England, Wales and Northern Ireland have levels of air pollution that exceed safety limits, according to a pollution map released by campaigners.

In 2017, the worst location for nitrogen dioxide pollution was Kensington and Chelsea, followed by Leeds and Doncaster.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is one of the most harmful pollutant gases, irritating the lungs and potentially causing breathing difficulties. Road traffic is a leading source.

On Tuesday the mayor of London issued a high pollution alert for the capital as people across the UK basked in the unseasonably warm February weather. It was the first alert since last July, towards the end of a long heatwave and dry spell.

Traffic and other emissions from local sources were mainly to blame for this week’s dirty air, with only light winds to disperse them and air from the continent bringing further pollutants.

In  April the first ultra-low emission zone will come into force in central London. The scheme is expected to cut harmful emissions by as much as 45%, according to the mayor’s office.

External link

The Guardian, 27 Feb 2019: Pollution map reveals unsafe air quality at almost 2,000 UK sites