Air Quality

What pollutants should we be aware of?


Different pollutants come from different sources and can have varied impacts on people, the environement and the climate.

The key pollutants for air quality in London are:
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
  • Ozone (O3)
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
What is it?
 
Nitrogen dioxide (or NO2) is common pollutant mainly formed by combustion. It is currently estimated that 99% of NO2 emissions are from pollutant sources and up to 50% of emissions are from road transport (source: ERG). NO2 also contributes to the formation of smog by reacting with other pollutants when exposed to sunlight.
 
 
 
 
 
 
What are its effects?

Heightened concentrations can increase the likelihood of respiratory problems. This happens by inflaming the lining of the lungs and airways, therefore increasing the likelihood of conditions such as bronchitis in susceptible groups (young, old and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma).
 
 
 
 
 
 
How can you protect yourself?
 
In Barnet and Harrow, busy roads at peak times can produce enough NO2 to cause vulnerable people issues, so if you are susceptible to respiratory problems, it is a good idea to use a quieter street where there will be less NO2. Taking one road away from the main road will be mean you are breathing in far cleaner air!
 
TIPS: Subscribe to airText or  AirMail to get an update of when air qulaity is poor. Use an app such as  walkit to map out an efficient route with reduced pollution. 
 
 
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
What is it?   
 
Any airborne particle that is less than 10 micrometers (PM10) or 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5). In the diagram to the left you can see how tiny these particles can be!
 
They can be formed by combustion/burning or be somthing simple like dust or pollen!
 
An example of human production is in older diesel cars as as they do not have filters (DPFs) to remove the particles.
 

What are its effects?

Particulate pollution contains microscopic solid or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems or make existing respiritory/cardiovascular conditions worse.
 Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.

 
 
 
 
 
 
How can you protect yourself?
 
In Barnet and Harrow, In Barnet and Harrow, busy roads at peak times can produce enough particulate matter  to cause vulnerable people issues, so if you are susceptible to respiratory problems, it is a good idea to use a quieter street. Taking one road away from the main road will be mean you are breathing in far cleaner air!