WHEN IS POLLUTION "HARMFUL"?
To help communicate air pollution levels, governments, international bodies and academics use an indicator referred to as an "Air Quality Indicator" (AQI). The higher the number, the more likely you are to experience negative effects of pollution. The colour coding gives you an overview of what the AQI is at different time of the day and cumulatively over different periods of time.
- A Year: If pollution rarely drops below "Amber/Moderate" - vulnerable people may suffer harm by breathing that air day in day out;
- A Day: If pollution falls into the "Red/High" zone it is harmful if experienced for more than one day;
- An Hour: If pollution falls into the "Purple/Very High" zone (or even higher!), you should avoid exposure for more than one hour at a time!
Harm affects us all, but harm will be experienced most by vulnerable groups that include:-
- The young (prams and walking) - who also breath the thickest pollution at about one metre off the ground next to the roadside;
- Anyone with an existing chronic medical condition - like COPD;
- Wheelchair users - closer to the ground and sometimes unable to even use the narrowest pavements;
- the elderly and infirm, who may spend more time in their homes. We all need ventilation!
To understand more about each main pollutant and what harm they create - visit the Pollutants Page.
Measurements help us to have Informed Conversations
The purpose of this website is to give you a balanced picture and understanding of toxic pollutants that we are already breathing.
With more traffic promised by SBC Planning Officials and Councillors along the A2, the picture can only get more grave.
- Cleaner engines mean the problem is over? This is what SBC Officials and Councillors tell us. BUT, this is ONLY true for Nitrogen Dioxide!
- The devil is in the detail. SBC and Developers are ignoring UK, European and WHO evidence that the most toxic pollution from vehicles includes a range of Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10). The mixture and level of PMs and other toxic pollutants varies each day.
This website includes regular measurements of levels of pollution (good and bad). The Pollution Diary includes:-
- Average pollution for the day - covering PM2.5, PM10, NOx and VOCs;
- Peaks of pollution that fall into Red or Purple categories and breach guidelines of harmful levels;
- Weather/wind direction (see Street Scene);
- Maps showing pollution levels on the A2, into Teynham and along our lanes when the device is carried (walking, cycling and jogging).
"AIR UK" RESOURCES
A very good national perspective can be found through the "Air UK" pages provided by Department of Environment, Farming and Fisheries (Defra).