Defra reports high particulate pollution across UK

Government monitoring sites report high levels of PM2.5 in Northeast England, East Anglia, London and Southeast

Defra reported high levels of fine particle pollution at a number of its monitoring sites across the England this afternoon (March 17) and does not currently expect levels to fall until the end of the week.

Defra’s monitoring site summary for 4pm this afternoon reports 12 monitoring sites in the UK within the ‘high’ air pollution banding.

Photo taken of the London Eye at 5.20pm March 17 2015

Photo taken of the London Eye at 5.20pm March 17 2015

These sites are situated in North East England, East Anglia, London and South East England. Much of the rest of the UK at this time, meanwhile, was reporting moderate air pollution.

According to Defra’s 24 hour summary, particulate matter PM2.5 levels at 3pm on March 17 were at above 50 ug3 (microgramme per cubic metre) sites such as Chatham Roadside in Kent, Warrington in Cheshire, Norwich Lakenfields and several sites across London, including Marylebone Road.

At around 1.30pm today (March 17), Defra’s air quality alerts feed stated: “Localised levels of high PM [particulate matter] measured due to a combination of local sources and pollution brought via light winds from the continent.”

It added that pollution levels are “expected to return to low by Friday”.


Meanwhile, the London Air information website operated by King’s College London is now forecasting high levels of particulate pollution to continue across the capital tomorrow (March 18), due to still conditions and light easterly winds.

The London Air forecast states: “Back trajectories show air arriving at the south-east having spent time over industrialised part of Northern Europe and the Midlands. This imported pollution, combined with a build-up of local emissions is likely to result in widespread ‘High’ particulate pollution.

“The still conditions may also result in ‘Moderate’ nitrogen dioxide at roadside locations during the morning and evening rush hours. All other pollutants should remain low.”

Related Links:

-Defra air website


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