Particulate pollution episodes drop to lowest on record

The episodes of urban particulate pollution dropped substantially last year, though ozone concentrations have continued to rise

According to DEFRA’s annual air quality statistics, released yesterday, the mean number of hours when fine (PM2.5) particulate pollution was moderate or worse at roadside sites almost halved. Urban background sites saw a similar drop in periods when the pollutant was above 35 micrograms per cubic metre for 24 hours.

The department notes that the drop, which hit a peak of over 600 hours in 2011, has since fallen by 85%, an average drop of 76 hours per site.

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