Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about air pollution in Hillingdon
Click on a question below to jump to further information:
How clean is my air?
In Hillingdon we have identified one pollutant that does not meet the Government's Air Quality
Strategy Objectives. The pollutant is nitrogen dioxide.
What are the effects of poor air quality?
There is growing evidence that high levels of air pollution can cause damage to the airways and lungs, cause heart attacks, and lead to premature death for people who are already ill. Air pollution affects many people - government research has shown that every year, between 14,000 and 24,000 people may be admitted to hospital as a result of air pollution, and that between 12,000 and 24,000 vulnerable people (such as those who are already ill) may die prematurely. Air pollution can also damage trees and plants, buildings, and contribute to global warming.
Where can I find out further information on what the Council has been doing to assess Air Quality in Hillingdon?
The Council has a duty under the Environment Act to assess the air Quality within its area. The
first Review and assessment process showed exceedances of the pollutants Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate Matter
(PM10.) We found that there was widespread exposure to levels exceeding the Governments objectives for annual mean
Nitrogen Dioxide as predicted for the year 2005. Further assessment has now concluded that PM10 particulate matter concentrations will in fact meet the objectvies.
after all. This has led the Council to declare an air quality management area (AQMA) on the basis of the pollutant nitrogen
dioxide, we are continuing to assess the levels of particulate matter. (Check out the
Hillingdon Air Quality Management Area map.)
What happens after the declaration of an AQMA?
Firstly the Council have to review the air quality within the AQMA taking into account any new
information that has come to light since the original declaration. On the basis of this latest review we then identify
and apportion the pollution to sources contributing toward the problem.
Does Hillingdon carry out any air quality monitoring?
There is one Government-owned air quality continuous monitoring station, in West Drayton. This monitors for nitrogen dioxide, fine particulate matter, ozone, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide. Hillingdon Council own and operate another two continuous air quality monitoring stations, one in Hillingdon and another in South Ruislip. In addition to the continuous monitoring data Hillingdon also monitors for nitrogen dioxide via the use of passive diffusion tubes. These are placed at sites around the borough on a monthly basis. Results from these show long term trends in nitrogen dioxide levels as opposed to daily averages. Results from all these monitors are available from the air quality data section of this web site.
What are the current air pollution levels like in Hillingdon ?
Up-to date pollution concentrations are reported in the
air quality data section
of this web
site. The latest measurements from the Hillingdon automatic monitoring sites are summarised in graphical form based on
the highest pollutant measured at each site. The air pollution is categorised as LOW, MODERATE, HIGH or VERY HIGH by
comparison with the National
Air Pollution Index and Banding System.
How can I contribute?
All ideas on how we can improve our environment and reduce pollutant emissions are welcome. There are many things that you and your family can do to help reduce pollution levels.
You can report the details of smoky lorries, buses, coaches and taxis to the Vehicle Inspectorate by phoning:
How does air quality monitoring fit in with sustainable development policies?
Most societies want to achieve economic development to achieve higher standards of living, now
and for future generations, whilst also seeking to protect and enhance their environment. "Sustainable development"
tries to reconcile these two objectives. It is widely defined as "development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Hillingdon Borough Council has already addressed some of these impacts via policies in its Unitary Development Plan, and also in accompanying Supplementary planning Guidance (SPG) documents on air quality, noise, environmental impacts etc. in addition, an SPG on Sustainable Design and Construction is currently under development.
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quality in the Borough, or have a specific enquiry about the web site, then please contact us via the button below.