Air quality overview
Staffordshire Air Aware
Air Aware Staffordshire is a campaign working with the public, schools and businesses across the 8 districts of Staffordshire to raise awareness of air pollution and the health impacts associated with poor air quality, and to encourage behaviour change to help improve air quality.
This project has helped schools and businesses encourage active and sustainable travel by running campaigns and travel planning as well as bespoke campaigns, lesson plans and workshops available for schools.
What is air quality?
Air quality is a measure of pollutants in the air, which can be in the form of gasses or fine particles. Air pollution is the single biggest environmental risk and the fourth biggest risk to public health. It affects millions of people worldwide, causes 40,00 premature deaths per year in the UK and many hundreds in Staffordshire.
The World Health Organisation director with responsibility for air pollution states “it is a global public health emergency.”
What pollution is there?
In Staffordshire the main contributor to poor air quality is from the emissions produced by transport. The two most harmful are detailed below.
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
The most harmful of the oxides produced from vehicle emissions to human health. It can affect our lungs, and breathing, and is very bad for people with asthma and other medical conditions.
Fine Particulates (PM)
Microscopic particles that float around in the atmosphere, they are produced from burning fossil fuels and from braking and tyre wear. Diesel vehicles emit the most PM. In regard to vehicle emissions we have PM 2.5 and PM10. PM 2.5 are so small they can get into the blood stream and lungs. PM 2.5 is roughly 30 times smaller than a human hair.
You can check out the air quality in your area by visiting the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affair's interactive map and inputting your post code.
What can you do?
Poor air quality is predominately linked to transport and the fuel it uses. If we can look to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, or the fuel they use, we can reduce the amount of pollution created.
If you are part of a business or school and wish your organisation to take part in helping improve air quality in your local area please click the business or schools tab to the right or contact us at email@example.com.
If you want to know what you and your family can do to improve air quality in your local area then please visit our DoingOurBit web page for ideas.
When you choose active travel, such as walking, cycling or even scooting, you are breathing cleaner air, not producing pollution, and living a healthier lifestyle. Studies show you can breathe in twice the amount of pollution inside a vehicle as opposed to outside.