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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 32 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Coventry air is currently 1.5 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Friday, May 20|
Good 28 US AQI
|Saturday, May 21|
Good 42 US AQI
|Sunday, May 22|
Good 20 US AQI
Good 32 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 24|
Good 7 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 25|
Good 12 US AQI
|Thursday, May 26|
Good 17 US AQI
|Friday, May 27|
Good 15 US AQI
|Saturday, May 28|
Good 16 US AQI
|Sunday, May 29|
Good 18 US AQI
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Coventry is a city located in the West Midlands region of England, built over the river Sherbourne. It has been a place that has seen significant human activity for a considerably long period of time, and to this day still remains as a place that is considered as a major city in the country, close to other prominent cities such as Birmingham, Leicester and Warwick. It is the ninth largest city in England, with a population of some 371 thousand inhabitants.
It has a large amount of its economy focused around the manufacturing of cars, electronic goods, synthetic materials and farm equipment, although in more recent times it has moved more towards more novel industries such as finance, design and development as well as logistics, all having been introduced to revitalize the city’s economy.
Whilst this plays a significant role in improving the infrastructure of Coventry, as well as the general quality of life, it can also have a knock on effect of decreasing the level of air quality due to the rise in population numbers, coupled with increased construction and industrial activities. In 2019, Coventry came in with a PM2.5 reading of 9.3 μg/m³ as its yearly average, a number that placed it within the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air.
Whilst this is still a respectable yearly average, there were many months of the year that came in with heightened levels of pollution, and as such the city could do much to improve its air cleanliness even further. This reading of 9.3 μg/m³ placed it in 2882nd place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 71st place out of all cities ranked in the United Kingdom.
Coventry has a few major causes of pollution occurring within its city, which seem to be equally prominent in their amount that they contribute. One of the most discussed and talked about issues is that of vehicular emissions. With many roads that see huge amounts of traffic during rush hour times, there is thus a spike in the dangerous chemical contaminants as well as particulate matter in the air around such areas. As well as this, these clouds of smoke and haze can be blown throughout the city, spreading out from polluting hotspots and affecting the health of people many miles away, depending on meteorological conditions.
Besides just taking into account emissions released from cars and motorbikes, there is also the larger and more polluting heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and lorries to take into consideration. These often run on diesel fuels, and due to their great size and weight can put out far larger quantities of pollution per individual vehicle than a smaller counterpart would. With an increase in industrial imports and exports, a rise in the number of these larger vehicles would also be witnessed. Other prominent sources include coal fire emissions from factories and power plants, as well as smoke arising from wood fire stoves or other materials such as charcoal being burnt. The burning of these materials is also considered to be one of the more prominent causes of pollution buildup in Coventry besides vehicular fumes and emissions, with the two of them coming together to compound the air quality problem that the city sees during certain months.
Regarding the data taken over the course of 2019 as a reference point, it can be seen that there is a clear cut period of the year where the pollution levels rose considerably higher than the rest of the year. Typically, this tends to happen during the colder months, due to reasons such as increased energy consumption from both homes and businesses in their requisition of heating, as well as increased burning of firewood and charcoal in certain homes to provide warmth.
This made itself apparent at years end, which coincides with the arrival of winter. October came in with a very respectable and clean PM2.5 reading of 6.4 μg/m³, which was then followed by a reading of 10.1 μg/m³ in November, showing a significant jump in pollution levels, as well as a change in the pollution ratings category. This then continued on into the early months of the following year, where the worst levels of PM2.5 were recorded. January, February and April all had the highest readings of pollution, with PM2.5 readings of 13.2 μg/m³, 16.4 μg/m³ and 19.6 μg/m³ respectively.
These months all came in within the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket, which requires a reading between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classed as such, as well as making April the most polluted month of the year with its reading of 19.6 μg/m³.
In following from the previous question, the period of time between the months of May through to October was when the air in Coventry was at its cleanest, being the most free from smoke, haze, smog and other polluting contaminants. After the highest reading in April of 19.6 μg/m³, the level dropped significantly down to 7.5 μg/m³ in May, and the aforementioned months of May to October all stayed within the WHO's target bracket of 10 μg/m³ or less. The cleanest month of the year was September with a reading of 5 μg/m³, nearly four times lower than the highest reading of the year as well as being an exceptionally clean period of time.
Some health issues that may arise if one is to suffer from over exposure to the pollution hotspots, typically around busy roads and areas that see daily rush hour traffic, would be a wide variety of different ailments ranging from general short term problems to more long term severe issues. These include ones such as raised instances of coughing, chest pain and infections, as well as the triggering of certain conditions such as asthma.
Respiratory problems such as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema may present themselves, along with a further risk of cancers being developed. Ischemic heart disease can appear in individuals, along with other cardiac conditions such as heart attacks, angina and arrythmias. These can all contribute greatly to the mortality rate in Coventry, showing just how significant the effect that air pollution has on the health of the general population, and the ever growing need to address it.