Where are the worst areas for air pollution?
Most areas of the UK have an air pollution problem. Many are breaching EU legal limits for deadly nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Forty towns and cities in the UK are breaking World Health Organisation (WHO) guideline limits for fine particle pollution. Even if pollution is within legal or WHO guideline limits, it doesn’t mean the air is safe.
The UK government has been instructed by the courts to significantly improve plans for cleaning up the country's NO2 pollution. A series of Clean Air Zones has been proposed, and more are likely to follow.
London has some of the dirtiest air in Europe. It is a major hotspot for NO2 – for the past 7 years London's air has been illegally breaching limits designed to be met in 2010. Under current plans a child in London might not breathe clean air until the year 2025 – in some other UK cities, 2020.
You can find out about the quality of the air right on you doorstep with our popular Clean Air Kit.
Our national air pollution map uses results collected by you from our Clean Air Kits
Enter your postcode on the map to find out how clean the air is where you are. Each point on the map marks where an individual, community or school has put up an air quality monitoring tube. Toggle the layers for extra detail.
What do the results mean?
The monitoring tubes on the map measured nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
The European Union has set a legal average annual limit for NO2 at 40µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre). Most areas of the UK are currently failing to meet legal limits set by the EU. And even at low levels, short term and long term exposure to NO2 can have significant negative health effects.
Weather has a large effect on levels of air pollution, so the results displayed on the map can only represent a snapshot of the air pollution for the place and time they were measured. They can look very different from the annual mean – and are not directly comparable.
Note: All the results from the diffusion tubes required calibration and adjusting alongside government figures. This is called a bias adjustment. We’ve spoken to experts in monitoring and have adjusted all the results for accuracy using a bias correction factor for the type of diffusion tube used.