Like the air in parts of Yorkshire the whole subject stinks! The World Health Organisation and now the EU have railed against the UK’s failures over air pollution and yet our politicians are failing us. It is crucially important for our children and the subsequent generations that we take the subject seriously albeit without over reacting. For the largest county, with our share of good fresh air, we still have significant regions that are the worst in the UK excluding London.
Over 80 per cent of youngsters are living in areas with illegal pollution particularly in areas of Leeds, York, Hull and Middlesbrough. That is a statistic not to be sniffed at!
Causes of Air Pollution Indoors(I) and Outdoors(O)
- High levels of nitrogen dioxide and fuel residues caused by cars, lorries and public transport. O
- Greenhouse gasses and pollutants that have escaped into the atmosphere contributing to global warming. O
- Industrial processes, farming and specific manufacturing operations that discharge into the air that we breath. I. O
- Other natural sources such as volcano, forest fires and wind distribution from around the globe. O
- Atmospherically deposited toxic substances including acid rain. O
- Plastic and other materials naturally deteriorating inside homes. I
- Burning fossil fuel, using carbon resources for heat and energy production such as wood, coal and oil. I.O
A Breath of Fresh Air
The problems of anthropogenic activity mount. Human pollution of seas and rivers, indiscriminate use and control of plastics and the disposal of waste are individual issues worthy of a more coherent approach. Yorkshire could lead the way instead it is currently lagging behind the rest of the UK. In the UK, tens of thousands of deaths are attributed to air pollution every year and our NHS feels the brunt of respiratory, heart and cancer problems. The experts say ‘Poor air quality is a major public health crisis’.
An opportunity exists to tackle these complex issues by taking a county wide approach. It may lead to the provision of new jobs and industries with cleaner environments in and for Yorkshire
The impact on air quality is a material planning consideration including appropriateness of industrial, commercial and housing options. These items plus travel and transport issues are key in determining planning applications.
Defra’s Daily Air Quality Index give a national and county view using Yorkshire monitoring stations. This and wider reading will illuminate more of the issues and details.
- Available from your library or Amazon by clicking on an image.
- Long term exposure to air pollution may result in bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer and asthma.
- Four of the worst indoor pollutants come from tobacco smoke, radio active radon, formaldehyde and asbestos. Outdoor pollutants can also seep into buildings causing sick building syndrome.
- Air pollution caused by sulfur, sulfuric acid, ozone, and nitric acid can damage metals, plastics, clothing and building materials.
Available from your library or Amazon by clicking on an image