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