Sharp increase in NO2 pollution blamed on vehicles

Atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen dioxide increased by an average of 35% across the UK between 1986-1991, according to a study co-ordinated for the Department of the Environment by Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL).1 The introduction of catalytic convertors on all new cars in 1993 may give only a temporary respite from the deteriorating trend.

The study involved measurements of NO2 levels at 363 sites throughout the UK between July and December 1991, using simple diffusion tube samplers. A similar exercise was carried out at 249 of the 363 sites in the same period in 1986.

Data from the 249 sites show that NO2 levels increased by an average of 35% across the country, and in some areas by over 60%, between 1986 and 1991. The highest concentrations occurred

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