William Eichler 27 June 2019

Policies to clean up air pollution ‘effective’, research suggests

Policies to clean up air pollution ‘effective’, research suggests image

Policies to clean up air pollution in the UK over the past 40 years have led to significant reductions in human exposure to air pollution, research suggests.

A study by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has charted the levels of emissions of a variety of air pollutants in the UK between 1970 and 2010.

The results of the research revealed that the total annual emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) in the UK all ‘reduced substantially’.

This has meant that the number of deaths caused by exposure to air pollution has dropped by 44% and 56% for NO2 and PM2.5 respectively between 1970 and 2010.

However, the research, which was carried out in collaboration with the Institute of Occupational Medicine, University of Oxford, and University of Edinburgh, also found that emissions of ammonia (NH3) have not been declining substantially and have shown signs of a slight increase.

‘Technology advances over the past 40 years, such as the three-way catalytic converter for cars and equipment to reduce sulphur and nitrogen dioxide emissions from large power plants have contributed to significant reductions in emission levels and therefore improved public health,’ said Edward Carnell, lead author of the study.

‘However, it is legislation that has driven these technological improvements.

‘Our results demonstrate the effectiveness of a series of policies at UK and European level since 1970 and this research supports policy-makers’ efforts to continue implementing much-needed measures to further improve air quality.’

The Government today committed to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Project Engineer

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has fantastic permanent and fixed-term opportunities to join our Major Projects & Improvements Team as a Project Engineer Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Lead Project Manager

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has a fantastic opportunity to join our Major Projects & Improvements Team as a Lead Project Manager Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Highway Improvements Officer

Via
Competitive Salary
Via currently has fantastic opportunity to join our Major Projects and Improvements Team. Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Recuriter: Via

Family Worker (Link Role) - Family Solutions - Harlow

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Family Solutions is an Early Help service in Essex working holistically with disadvantage families, with multiple difficulties to enable them to make England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Park Ranger

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£21.591 - £21.981
This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a dynamic team of staff responsible for the security, cleanliness and general maintenance and... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue