Local authorities have a responsibility to monitor air quality to ensure that it meets required standards for certain pollutants.
Our district councils identify locations where national standards may not be met, and in this case, they have a duty to declare air quality management areas (AQMAs).
The Environment Act 2021 aims to protect human health by setting objectives and targets for key pollutants. These include fine particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide – which is associated with vehicles and transportation. You can find out more about the sources of pollution | UK Government.
You can find out what the air quality is like near you on the UK Air website.
Top tips for reducing your exposure to air pollution
There are small changes you can make today which will reduce your exposure to air pollution and many can also help us become a net zero county by 2045.
- not using your car as often for short journeys and walking or cycling instead. You can find out more about the benefits of active travel on the Choose How You Move website.
- reducing how much you burn in your home and garden
- if you choose to burn, switching to using cleaner fuels and to more efficient appliances
- opening your windows when you clean, do DIY, smoke, or do other activities that release pollutants directly into your home
- staying away from traffic if you’re walking or cycling (like walking on the side of the pavement furthest from the road, using the quieter roads and keeping back when waiting to cross the road)
- turning off your car engine when you park or are waiting in traffic
We can work together to reduce emissions and create a cleaner, greener, healthier and fairer future.