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93% of homes in Wales in areas above WHO limit on air pollution – check your own postcode

29 Apr 2022 2 minute read
Picture by Matt Jones (CC BY 2.0)

Only 65,000 of 1.378 million households in Wales do not breach any of the current WHO air pollution limits, a new report has found.

Readers can check the pollution levels at their own postcode against WHO limits here.

Analysis of Imperial College London data by the Central Office of Public Interest (COPI), a campaign group, found that 93% of people in Wales lived in postcodes that were exposed to air that breached at least one WHO limit for toxic pollutants.

The average across the UK was 97% but Scotland, where 632,321 did not breach the limit, made a huge contribution to that total. In England, only 80,294 of 27.8m households did not breach at least one limit.

70% of households across the UK were exposed to air that breached WHO limits on all three of the pollutants on which the UN tightened limits – PM2.5, PM10 and NO10 – after evidence showed that toxic particles and gases harmed humans at lower levels than previously thought.

Scientists at Imperial divided the UK into 20m square grids and used emissions data to model pollution rates. COPI then analysed the results to work out pollution levels for each address.

Professor Frank Kelly, of the environmental research group at Imperial, said the data showed that tackling air pollution was “a huge challenge”.

“Success will depend upon the concerted action of a host of parties — including policy makers at a local, national and international level,” he said.


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Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

Simple Tory answer to this, scrap the rules and write new ones. Don’t like the UN human rights act, write a new one, don’t like the EU pollution rules, simple, write new rules and dump sewage into rivers, don’t like UN rules on as asylum seekers, write new rules and send the people to Rwanda, really easy solutions, we can all live in a healthy environment overnight. Or we can vote to oust these charlatans and prepare for a better healthier future outside the UK.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago

It’s interesting if you stick in different post codes – Orkneys 2, Central London, as you might expect, is 99. However, regardless of the curiosity, pollution is a big issue in the UK and much of it comes from vehicle fumes. So hopefully in the near future, and the advent of electric vehicles, air pollution will come down. As an independent nation we have an opportunity to do this quicker with many of our politicians not having a personal interest in the profits made by the petrochemical companies.

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I checked a few postcodes near me within about 3 miles of each other. I was surprised to find that one was in the least polluted percentile, one was in the second highest percentile and one was about halfway. These wildly different values puzzled me. I was under the impression that air, and as a result airborne pollution, moved about.

Tim
Tim
4 months ago

Welsh Government/Welsh Labour need to own this problem and take urgent action.

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim

Agreed. But the article suggests that all 3 mainland nations are in a similar situation. As a UK wide phenomena, one might reasonably expect Westminster do most of the heavy lifting. They won’t of course. They’ll just criticise Drakeford

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Llinos

As with most of these issues it will have to be us the Citizens, assumming we can afford to, who will need to do the ‘heavy lifting’. Particulate matter, Nitrogen Dioxide etc. can be reduced if we shift our dependence on cars and walk, cycle and use public transport more. We also need to have second thoughts about our wood stoves as those are also a source of PM2s. This is going to need a culture shift. We cannot assume that life will be ‘business as usual’ just substituting electric cars for fossil fuel ones. There need to be less… Read more »

Lou
Lou
4 months ago

I’d be more worried about the companies that produce pollution nevermind peoples homes

Kurt C
Kurt C
4 months ago

Already know that my location is an issue with nitrogen dioxide from vehicles. Yet local Councillor wants speed on my road back to 30mph and cars parked all over pavements. We need to stop car worshipping, it’s killing us.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
4 months ago

My car does less to the gallon traveling at 20mph than 50mph and braking all the time and using the clutch All the time is creating asspestos dust and also you spend a lot of time looking at the speed the car is doing that has to be dangerous

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

I’d like someone to explain how 20mph limits will reduce emissions when cars will have to use a lower gear. That will mean more engine revolutions for distance travelled. i.e. more fuel burned!!

Joe
Joe
4 months ago

Need action on people burning rubbish in the garden as well. It’s like bonfire night every night where I live.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
4 months ago

If only Wales, and Cardiff in particular, had a decent public transport system so people could leave their cars at home. Cardiff Bus unreliable, expensive and infrequent offering no alternative to the car. Loads cycle lanes no one uses. Senedd and Cardiff Council talk the talk on pollution but do little to solve the problem. 20mph speed limit another nail in the coffin.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
4 months ago

I have just checked my post code for where my house is in Merthyr Tydfil and it is saying that i live in clean Air part of the town that’s is utter nonsense.i lm living right under the largest opencast coal mine in the UK my car gets very dirty in about a week and if it rains it gets very dirty.with The rain the Wall of my house that faces the opencast is very black the other wall’s are not so bad I also power wash my walls and patios twice a year to keep them clean so how… Read more »

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