Introduction to Air Quality

We depend upon clean air for our well being and there is no doubt that air pollution is damaging to health. Many of us will suffer or know of someone who suffers from asthma which is just one of several ailments made worse by high levels of air pollution.

We have come a long way since the smogs of the 1950s and air quality in Hillingdon has improved over the years. This is because cleaner fuels are used to heat our homes and tighter controls are in place to regulate emissions from industry. Cleaner technologies such as catalytic converters have also reduced pollution from traffic. However, as air pollution has reduced we have also learned more about the range of chemicals emitted into the air, their sources and continuing potential to harm human health

To address this, the Government has introduced a National Air Quality Strategy which defines health-effects based targets for levels of each of the main pollutants. For pollutants which can be tackled at a local level each local authority is required to assess it's current air quality. A local strategy then needs to be prepared, if necessary, in order to propose how to reduce the air pollutants below the required levels by the target date.

Therefore, the Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) at Hillingdon Borough Council has a general duty to protect its local area from air pollution and produce a Local Air Quality Strategy.

To do this we:

  • Monitor the pollutants benzene, nitrogen oxides, PM10 particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and ozone, to gather an understanding of whether the pollutants are in exceedence of national standards or objectives.
  • Implement the National Air Quality Strategy set up by the Government by creating a strategy local to Hillingdon.
  • Monitor emissions to air from certain industrial processes that are listed under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 Part 1.

A brochure has been published to summarise the latest air pollution levels in Hillingdon, and to inform you about what we have done so far to implement our local air quality strategy. It is available for download via the link below.

Hillingdon Air Quality Brochure (PDF)

^ back to top ^