Air quality

Information about air quality, including annual status reports and areas where we closely monitor air quality

Air pollution is associated with a number of health issues. It contributes to the onset of heart disease and cancer. Air pollution particularly affects the vulnerable in society -  children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.

Report smoke and dust pollution

Report odour problem (bad smells)

We have been monitoring air quality since 2000, targeting areas with significant road traffic congestion near to housing and schools. We currently measure air quality at 47 sites across our borough.

This monitoring has resulted in the declaration of air quality management areas (AQMAs). These are areas where air quality exceeds health based objectives. They are at busy urban road junctions where exhaust fumes from slow moving road vehicles aren’t readily dispersed because of nearby buildings.

There are national health based targets for seven key airborne pollutants.

The levels of these pollutants in our borough have been monitored or modelled.

Levels of Pollutants
PollutantMeasured ParameterObjective
BenzeneRunning annual meanYes
Annual average Yes
1,3-butadieneRunning annual meanYes
Carbon monoxideMax daily running 8hr meanYes
LeadAnnual meanYes
Annual meanYes
Nitrogen dioxide1-hour meanYes
Annual meanNo - Not at 1 Air Quality Management Area
Sulphur dioxide1-hour meanYes
24-hour meanYes
15-minute meanYes
Particulates (PM10)24-hour meanYes
Annual meanYes

Annual status report

We review air quality annually and submit an air quality status report​ to Defra.

If you are using the information report in connection with a planning application please be aware of the planning advisory note: air quality.

Air Quality Annual Status Reports

Air Quality Management Areas

These areas failed to meet the national health based annual target for nitrogen dioxide, mainly because of road vehicle exhaust emissions. Nitrogen dioxide causes irritation and inflammation of the lungs.

We are taking action to improve air quality in these areas. Details are in the latest annual status report.​ ​​

Orders revoking former Air Quality Management Areas

Air quality management areas were declared in other areas, but the air quality has improved at these locations and so these orders have been revoked.

Air quality automatic monitor

We have an automatic monitor at Accrington Road Community Station, Blackburn.

View the automatic monitoring results.