Yorkshire air pollution hits worst possible level

24 Mar 2022

Air pollution levels in Yorkshire & Humberside have this morning hit Index 10, the highest possible official rating, while six other regions are currently on high pollution warnings.

Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems and older people in Yorkshire are advised to avoid strenuous physical activity.

The general population are also advised to reduce physical exertion, particularly outdoors, especially if they experience symptoms like a cough or sore throat.

People with asthma are also warned that they may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.

According to the most recent data from the Environment Agency, levels are especially high in Hull and Leeds, with the areas seeing a running 24-hour mean PM10 pollution level of 80-91 µgm-3 and 93-94 µgm-3 respectively.

The running 24-hour mean PM2.5 pollution level in Hull has also been reported as 71 µgm-3, which is ranked as ‘very high’, while the levels in Leeds remain ‘high’.

According to UK Air, six other regions have ‘High’ pollution (Index 7-9), including Eastern, South East, East Midlands, North East, Greater London and West Midlands, as of 11:00 this morning.

In these regions, vulnerable and older people are advised to reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors and if they experience symptoms.

It is recommended that anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat consider reducing activity, particularly outdoors.

In response to the high alert in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan said this morning: ‘Like thousands of Londoners with asthma, I’m feeling the difference in the air. Please look after one another by walking, cycling, avoiding unnecessary car trips and stopping engine idling.’

Responding to dangerously high levels of air pollution today in Yorkshire and Humberside, the East, South East, East Midlands, North East and London, UK100’s Assistant Chief Executive Jason Torrance says: ‘Today’s dangerous spike in air pollution is a reminder that the Government’s plan to meet World Health Organisation (WHO) limits on the deadliest pollutants by 2040 is not just lacking in ambition, it is a dereliction of duty. Air pollution is linked to around 30,000 premature deaths every year.

‘It can’t be right that with air pollution levels at more than 11 times what is deemed safe by the WHO, local authorities can only offer their residents advice on staying indoors, keeping their windows closed, and avoiding exercise.’

Air Quality News has reached out to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and East Riding of Yorkshire Combined Authority for comment.  

As published in Air Quality News