Broxtowe is among the most polluted areas in the UK

Deaths from ‘toxic’ air quality are also on the rise across the borough, with residents exposed to PM2.5 levels above the safe limit.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 11:02 am

Data has shown that the average concentration of PM2.5 pollution particles in Broxtowe was 10.2 micrograms per cubic metre in 2019 – below the UK limit of 25, but above the World Health Organisation guideline limit of 10.

It was an increase from nine micrograms in 2018.

Separate figures published by the NHS show an estimated 5.5 per cent of deaths among people aged 30 and over in Broxtowe were associated with long-term exposure to PM2.5, up from 4.9 per cent the year before.

An estimated 5.5% of deaths among people aged 30 and over in Broxtowe were associated with long-term exposure to PM2.5.

Health campaigners say "toxic" air quality is a national emergency and the Government must impose stricter limits on fine particles in the air, which come mainly from the burning of oil, gas and diesel.

The British Heart Foundation is campaigning for stricter limits on PM2.5 as part of the Government's Environment Bill which returns to Parliament this year.

John Maingay, director of policy and influencing at the charity, said: "Our toxic air is a public health emergency, and now is the time to take robust action to support everyone’s health as we look to recover from the pandemic.

He added: “We are pleased that the Environment Bill, which will set more stringent air quality limits, will soon be returning to complete its passage through Parliament.

"However, this must go further and ensure WHO limits are adopted into law, and met by 2030. Stricter, health-based air quality guidelines are urgently needed to protect the health of the nation and clean up toxic air for good.”

PM2.5 are tiny particles, measuring about three per cent of the diameter of a human air, which can lodge in the lungs and even pass into bloodstream, potentially causing damage to blood vessels and organs.

They come mostly from traffic fumes, but also through industrial emissions, wood burners and livestock manure. A small proportion come from natural sources in the form of dust or sea salt particles.

Levels of the PM2.5 particles in England have fallen since 2011, when national records began, from 12.1 micrograms per cubic metre to 9.6 in 2019.

In Broxtowe, the reading fell from 2011, when it was 12.5.