Environment

Most Polluted Cities In The United Kingdom

As per WHO reports, currently eleven urban areas in the United Kingdom exceed the safe upper limits of PM10 particulate air pollutants.

Particulate Matter, or PM, is the small particles from the airborne bacteria, coal particles emitted from the power plants, organic dust, and construction dust. In the case of PM10, the number represents concentration of such matter that has a width that is in excess of 10 microns in diameter and is present in the air. These small particles float in the air and are a major threat to the environment and human health. Air Pollution and PM10 are interrelated because of the air pollution from the industrial sources, gases from the motor vehicles, wildfire, and the burning of waste forms this type of particulates. The gases undergo a chemical reaction in the air that results in the formation of particulates and as a result affects people’s health. The factors responsible for air pollution in the UK are the southern and eastern winds, which bring dust to the country. The other major causes are the industrial pollution carried over from Continental European countries, residential emissions, and vehicles on the roadways.

Key Polluted Areas in the United Kingdom

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named some 12 cities of UK that are the highest sources of Air Pollution and on the scale of one to ten, the PM found to be the highest in these cities. Some of them are London with high PM10 concentrations are 22, Glasgow 23, Oxford, Nottingham and Southampton having 21, and the highest measured in Port Talbot as 25.

According to the report from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are nearly 20 areas across the country which are rated as among the most polluted. Port Talbot tops the list with the highest amount of PM as the steel industry causes maximum pollution in this area. During transportation of the iron ore to the plants and its conversion into steel, its tiny particles and those of the coal burned to convert it escape into the air. The other cities following it are London, Glasgow, Leeds, Nottingham, and Southampton. These are major industrial cities, and there are more motor vehicles running down the road causing Air Pollution. The other causes are manufacturing industries, higher concentration of gases emitted from industries and commercial and domestic heating systems. The report of Air Quality in these cities is worst because many of the people died of cancer, respiratory problems, heart disease, and strokes.

Measures to Improve Air Quality in UK Cities

New pollution laws enacted in the UK forced the cities to apply them as soon as possible to curb the dangerous particles, present in the air and for the improvement in the quality of air. The Supreme Court has also taken out rulings on the same footing. The actions taken by the government for improving the air quality include controlling the emission of pollutants into the air, assessment of air quality in the UK according to European Standards, reduction of pollution in the industries and power plants, implementing organizational plans to curb this practice, and much more. The government is planning to ban diesel cars as they emit harmful gasses, and pose a threat to the environment. Therefore, this has forced the introduction and expansion of electric and hybrid cars in the UK market.

The Most Polluted Urban Areas in the United Kingdom

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RankCity/Townµg/m³ of PM10 in air (exceeding the safety limit of 20 µg/m³)
1Port Talbot25
2Stanford-le-Hope24
3Glasgow23
4London22
5Scunthorpe22
6Leeds22
7Eastbourne21
8Nottingham 21
9Southampton21
10Oxford 21
11Stroke-on-Trent20
12Middlesbrough20

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