Air Quality

Supporting Information

The quality of the air in the local environment has an impact on the health of the public and ecosystems. There are several different gases which can occur in ambient air and which have been identified as having health impacts. These include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ground-level ozone (O3). In addition, very small particles of dust can be inhaled and reach the inner airways and lungs.

Breathing in polluted air is linked to respiratory illnesses including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)[1] and asthma[2]; cardiovascular disease[3]; and neurological impairments[4]. In June 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that fumes from diesel engines are carcinogenic[5]. A study in 2013 has shown association between early exposure to traffic pollution and several childhood cancers[6].  Links have also been reported to diabetes and premature and low birth weight babies[7]. This can lead to restricted activity, hospital admissions and even premature mortality.







[3] Tze Wai Wong et al, 1999, Air Pollution and Hospital Admissions for Respiratory and Cardiovascular Diseases in Hong Kong published in Occup Environ Medicine 1999;56:679-683


[6] Childhood Cancer amd Traffic-Related Air Pollution Exposure in Pregnancy and Early Life. Heck et al. (2013) Envion Health Perspect 121:1385-1391


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