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Air quality in Sheffield

We want air to be cleaner in Sheffield.  This is to avoid health problems when people breathe it in and also unwanted effects on the environment. 

To protect health and the environment, standards for pollution levels have been set by the Government, the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).  We must monitor these levels and report to the Government.

 

Pollutants

Pollutants mainly come from human activities such as from industry, road traffic and building heating.  Some come from natural sources such as wind blowing dust about and decomposing organic matter.

The pollutants in Sheffield we are mainly concerned about are:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)

They come from burning diesel and also petrol, gas, wood and coal.

Other pollutants of less concern include Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ozone (O3), Lead (Pb) and 1,3-Butadiene.

 

Health problems

Pollutants cause the following health problems:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Ozone – These gases irritate the airways of the lungs and increase the symptoms of people suffering from lung diseases.

  • Fine particulate matter can travel deep into the lungs where they can cause inflammation and a worsening of heart and lung diseases.
  • Carbon Monoxide prevents the uptake of oxygen by the blood. This can lead to a significant reduction in the supply of oxygen to the heart, particularly in people suffering from heart disease.

Air pollution also causes damage to plants and animals, and affects biodiversity and crop yields.

Email airquality@sheffield.gov.uk for more information.  See also the Air Aware Sheffield campaign.

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Environmental Audit Committee

Find out the latest on the investigations made by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee about how to improve air quality in the UK:

  • Modified: Nov 15, 2016 2:52:58 PM