Air Quality Management Area 5 - Pollution in Greenstreet (A2)

PM2.5 in the context of Greenstreet


This table predicts increases in diseases coming from PM2.5 (excluding NOx).
Swale Borough Council AQMAs only measure NOx, so they miss the increases in harm to local residents from other products of friction and combustion. SBC also measures NOx above head height, so not really helpful or accurate reflection of the real world for residents.

Differences between Baseline (2017) and Ten Year Scenario (2027) - diseases by year per 100,000 & deaths by year per 100,000 - Swale Borough Figures
2017 '18 '19 '20 '21 '22 '23 '24 '25 '26 2027
coronary heart
0 50 114 158 214 261 299 360 390 441 488
copd 0 40 83 115 138 174 199 212
254 268
stroke 0 11 31 43 54 67 80 94 107 110 126
asthma 0 0 2 4 8 -94 -91 -85 32 34 -64
diabetes 0 61 104 159 207 256 296 350 395 437 493
lung cancer 0 8 9 10 10 11 11 12 11 12 12
deaths 0 0 10 33 68 104 143 197 254 261 405

(Source: Public Health England Modelling software, 2018) - "Air pollution: a tool to estimate healthcare costs 2018" - you can scroll to the bottom of that page to download and run the tool yourself if you like.


  1. This table shows PM2.5 pollution excluding Nitrogen Dioxide.
    Nitrogen Dioxide levels will now remain fairly stable in Swale over the next ten years.
    Curiously, NOx will lead to increased admissions with diabetes over the whole period!
  2. The numbers are for the whole Swale Borough. However, logic tells us that most harm will hit places with the worst pollution - along busy roads with the greatest concentration of pollution (the AQMA areas).
  3. The figures may include a worsening of symptoms for those with existing illness.
  4. Heavier vehicles create more friction-based particles - electric vehicles are currently heavier than the 'standard' vehicles. This explains why some sources point to heavier PM2.5 as electric vehicles increase their numbers.

Traffic Flow: Understanding how and why queues grow. Visit our Traffic Flow Page to learn more about traffic burdens on the A2 and the changes in types of vehicles between 2000-2017.

What is included in "PM2.5"?

DEFRA's Air Quality Expert Group, 2012 - read PDF.

Significantly, in 2012, this report asked for at least five years worth of data to improve understanding PM2.5 pollution products and sources. Today (2018), a clearer picture is emerging.

DEFRA's Dedicated Page to understanding PM2.5 - visit the DEFRA web page

The DEFRA page is very much worth visiting as it summarises the current understanding. Not least is their acceptance of the World Health Organisations (WHO) conclusion:

"there is understood to be no safe threshold below which no adverse effects would be anticipated".

The bulk of historic research into "particulate matter as pollution" has not differentiated between PM10 and the smaller PM2.5 particles. There is a growing realisation that when the finer particles and compounds interact with people, they penetrated more deeply and more easily accumulate in our organs.

Why are PM2.5 products dangerous?

Particles of this size:-

The most vulnerable to pollution are the very young and the older members of our communities. But all of us are harmed by all pollution levels - making existing conditions worse, challenging our immune systems, potentially leading to more serious illness.

Reading List


Illustration of size differences


Pollutants Pages

We want to Breathe Clean Air