Craven District Council

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Craven District Council

Air Quality

The Council is responsible for reviewing and assessing the quality of outdoor air in Craven to determine whether local air quality meets required government standards.

Under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 every local authority is required to regularly review and assess the air quality in its area to determine whether the Government's air quality objectives will be met. The Council is required to designate an air quality management area (AQMA) where air quality objectives are exceeded.  To date no air quality management areas have been designated within Craven.

Craven District Council only monitors Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) is one of a group of highly reactive gases known as oxides of nitrogen or nitrogen oxides (NOx). Other nitrogen oxides include nitrous acid and nitric acid. NO2 is used as the indicator for the larger group of nitrogen oxides. 

NO2 primarily gets in the air from the burning of fuel. NO2 commonly forms from emissions from vehicles such as cars, HGV's and buses. 

Breathing air with a high concentration of NO2 can irritate airways in the human respiratory system. Long exposures to elevated concentrations of NO2 may contribute to the development of asthma and potentially increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. People with asthma, as well as children and the elderly are generally at greater risk for the health effects of NO2.

How are NO2 levels monitored?

The NO2 diffusion tube method is used to monitor levels within the district. Tubes are left in locations for four week periods, sent for analysis with the results assessed annually. 

The latest 2019 Air Quality Report is currently being appraised by DEFRA and will be published here following approval.