Air quality - Public Health Dorset

Air quality

The outdoor air pollutants of concern in our region include NO2and particulate matter (PM), specifically very fine PM2.5 µm (2.5/1,000,000 m) and PM10 µm. Although the annual pollution levles are below the the WHO limits, there is significant variation, with the highest polluting areas being where the poorest people live. Additionally there is no safe limit for PM2.5.

Both PM2.5 and NO2 have the ability to get into the deepest reaches of your lungs and directly into your blood stream, which can then cause blockages, increasing the risk of heart and lung diseases, as well making life worse for people already living with these conditions.

Unfortunately, these pollutants come from many sources, from the chimneys on factories, energy plants and car exhausts, to industrial and garden fires and wood burning stoves.

To try to understand the different levels of pollution different people across Dorset are exposed to, we have used modelled pollution estimates from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to map the background concentrations of PM2.5 and NO2.

Key statistics

Indicators of air quality for our region have been drawn from air pollution background concentration maps (DEFRA) and Public Health Profiles (PHE).

* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.

Indicators of air quality for our region
Indicator Bournemouth Poole Dorset England
Annual exposure to PM2.5 (ug/m3, 2016) 9.4 9.3 8.7 25 (WHO limit)
Exposure to NO2 (ug/m3, 2016) 14.1 13.1 7.4 40 (WHO limit)
Fraction of mortality attributable to particulate air pollution 4.8 4.5 3.9 4.7
Air pollution: fine particulate matter 8.5 7.8 6.7 8.3

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