Air pollution alert levels breached at four city centre locations in Glasgow

Four city centre locations have breached air pollution alert levels during 2022, a meeting heard.
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Two of the offending sites were in Hope Street with one next to a taxi rank and another beside general traffic.

Gordon Street beside a taxi rank and the Heilanman’s Umbrella at a sheltered location with poor dispersion of air pollution were the other two breaking the recommended levels of nitrogen dioxide.

A council official told a committee yesterday: “Four locations in the city centre recorded levels in excess of the local air quality management objectives and the European limit values with a further six locations either at the level or within 10 per cent of this indicating the potential for further exceedances.”

The information was revealed in Glasgow City Council’s annual progress report on air quality at the net zero and climate progress monitoring committee yesterday.

Councillor Blair Anderson, Scottish Greens said: “You mentioned there are four city locations in breach of targets.”

He said that is “quadruple what the World Health Organisation would consider an acceptable level of air pollution.”

The average rise in recorded nitrogen dioxide levels by city centre diffusion tubes between 2021 and 2022 was 20 per cent according to a council report.

The meeting also heard another air pollution measurement – particulates – is in line with requirements.

Stating how objectives for particulate pollutants have been met, the council official said: “In terms of particulate pollution Glasgow continues to perform relatively well. ”

A report presented to the committee said: “Both short and long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to a wide range of diseases, including stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, trachea, bronchus and lung cancers, aggravated asthma and lower respiratory infections. Further evidence is emerging of links between exposure to air pollution and type 2 diabetes, obesity, systemic inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.”

The council is introducing phase 2 of the Glasgow low emission zone and a revised air quality action plan in an effort to cut pollution.

There are air quality management areas (AQMAs) in the city centre. An AQMA in Byres Road and Dumbarton Road is to be revoked.

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