Pollutants - air quality

Pages in Pollutants - air quality

  1. 1. You are here: Pollutants - air quality
  2. 2. Hydrocarbons
  3. 3. Nitrogen Dioxide
  4. 4. Other pollutants
  1. 5. Ground level Ozone
  2. 6. Particulate Matter
  3. 7. Sulphur Dioxide

Information about air poullants and the National Air Quality Strategy.

We  are working to meet targets set by the government as part of the National Air Quality Strategy.

The National Air Quality Strategy names the pollutants in the table below.

Each pollutant has been assigned a limit value which must not be exceeded. These limits are based on recommendations made by the Government's Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards, who looked at a number of studies examining health effects of pollutants.

Find out about each pollutant, where it is prevalent and in what way it might be harmful to people's health. (data from Environmental Research Group - ERG - Kings College London).

Pollutant Target limit Target date

Particulate Matter (PM10)

Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

50µg/m3 (24hr mean)
not to be exceeded more than 35 times per year

40µg/m3 (annual mean)

25 µg/m3 (annual mean) or a 15 % reduction where this level is already met in urban areas

31 Dec 2004

2010 to 2020

Lead

0.5 µg/m3 (annual mean)

0.25 µg/m3 (annual mean)

31 Dec 2004

31 Dec 2008

Nitrogen Dioxide 105 ppb (200 µg/m3) (hourly mean not to be exceeded more than 18 times per year)
21 ppb (40 µg/m3) (annual mean)
31 Dec 2005
Sulphur Dioxide

47 ppb (125 µg/m3) (24 hour mean not to be exceed more than 3 times per year)

132 ppb (350 µg/m3) (hourly mean not to be exceeded more than 24 times per year)

100 ppb (266 µg/m3) (15 min mean not to be exceeded more than 35 times per year)

31 Dec 2005
Carbon Monoxide 8.6 ppm (10 mg/m3) (maximum daily 8 hour running mean)
31 Dec 2003
Benzene

5 ppb (16.25 µg/m3) (running annual mean)

1.5 ppb (5 µg/m3) (annual mean)

31 Dec 2003

31 Dec 2010

1,3 Butadiene 1 ppb (2.25 µg/m3) (running annual mean)
31 Dec 2003
Ozone (O3) 100µg/m3 not to be exceeded more than 10 times per year (8hr mean) 31 Dec 2010
PAH 0.25ng/m3 (as B[a]P annual mean) 31 Dec 2010

Table key:

ppm = parts per million
ppb = parts per billion

mg = milligrams
µg = micrograms
ng = nanograms
m3 = metres cubed