Air quality in Leeds

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Leeds

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Leeds?

Weather icon
WeatherMist
Temperature50°C
Humidity88%
Wind1 mp/h
Pressure1015 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time United Kingdom city ranking

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#cityUS AQI
1 Pudsey, England

123

2 Bradford, England

108

3 Stockton, England

108

4 Middlesbrough, England

107

5 Cullompton, England

103

6 Newcastle upon Tyne, England

103

7 Widnes, England

102

8 Wrexham, Wales

102

9 Scunthorpe, England

100

10 Chorley, England

98

(local time)

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live Leeds aqi ranking

Real-time Leeds air quality ranking

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#stationUS AQI
1 Leeds Headingley Kerbside

80

2 Leeds Centre

79

(local time)

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US AQI

80

live AQI index
Moderate

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Leeds?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 80 US AQIPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
25.8 µg/m³trend
PM10
42.8 µg/m³trend
O3
2 µg/m³trend
NO2
44.7 µg/m³trend
SO2
1.1 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x2.6

PM2.5 concentration in Leeds air is currently 2.6 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Leeds?

An open window iconClose your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
A man cycling iconSensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise

Forecast

Leeds air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Friday, Oct 15

Good 30 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Saturday, Oct 16

Moderate 62 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Sunday, Oct 17

Good 45 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Moderate 80 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon59°50°
Wind rotating 185 degree

8.9 mp/h

Tuesday, Oct 19

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon62.6°53.6°
Wind rotating 207 degree

13.4 mp/h

Wednesday, Oct 20

Good 12 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon60.8°46.4°
Wind rotating 222 degree

11.2 mp/h

Thursday, Oct 21

Good 24 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon48.2°41°
Wind rotating 13 degree

11.2 mp/h

Friday, Oct 22

Good 9 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon51.8°39.2°
Wind rotating 283 degree

13.4 mp/h

Saturday, Oct 23

Good 42 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon53.6°44.6°
Wind rotating 204 degree

8.9 mp/h

Sunday, Oct 24

Moderate 58 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon53.6°46.4°
Wind rotating 177 degree

11.2 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Leeds

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Leeds

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Leeds

What is the current air quality in Leeds?

The average PM2.5 readings for Leeds in 2019 was 12.3 µg/m³. From July through to August the reading could be classified as “within the WHO target” with less than 10 µg/m³. January, March, May and June showed measurements of around 11 µg/m³ which classified it as “good”. Only in February, April and November did it increase to be classified as “moderate”. Unfortunately, the overall air quality in Leeds is getting worse when compared to previous years. For 2017 the average for the year was 10 µg/m³ whilst in 2018 it rose slightly to 11.5 µg/m³.

Leeds City Council proudly states that the air quality is the best it has ever been and is continually working towards making it even better. It consistently meets the requirements laid down by national standards.

The EU regulates air pollution and imposes limits which must be strictly adhered to. Any country found to be breaching these limits is liable to be fined. Unfortunately, the UK often exceeds these limits and in 2018 was referred to the European Court of Justice for apparently failing to bring down the levels quickly enough. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is the official body responsible for keeping the air quality within the limits.

What are the health effects of poor air quality in Leeds?

With relatively high levels of the pollutant PM2.5, it is estimated that people living in Leeds are 21 times more likely to die from a respiratory disease than lose their life in a road accident. An average of 300 deaths per year is apportioned to poor air quality in Leeds. Another Yorkshire city, Hull, has worse levels though where 1 in every 20 deaths is associated with air pollution.

Leeds was one of several cities whose air quality exceeded the recommended level suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). Neville Street was stated as being the most polluted street in the UK, outside London. It was found to have a level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) of 99 ug/m3). This is more than twice the recommended safe level of 40 ug/m3.

It is proven that air pollution poses the greatest risk to health in the UK. An estimated 36,000 people lose their lives annually because of constant exposure to polluted air.

What is being done to improve the air quality in Leeds?

A new set of guidelines is currently in the development stage and their intention is to reduce air pollution even further by 2030 to bring it completely in line with the WHO’s recommendations.

Leeds City Council state that it is everybody’s responsibility to help improve the air quality in Leeds. Only by working together than this joint goal be achieved.

Local business owners are encouraged to change to cleaner vehicles as part of the EV Trials scheme which runs in partnership with Highways England. Leeds City Council proudly boasts that it has the largest fleet of electric vehicles than any other UK council.

They are fully committed to the improvement of the infrastructure through the installation of charging points for electric vehicles and are also asking developers to include changing points with any newly created parking spaces.

Households are being asked to only use their log-burning stoves when absolutely necessary. Special fuel is available for them which does not cause the same level of pollution as wood does. They are also newer models which have filters incorporated into their exhaust ports which clean the gases before releasing them into the atmosphere.

Cycling and walking are being encouraged, where possible as are more sustainable modes of transportation within the city.

In November 2018 the creation of a Clean Air Charging Zone was approved which will help reduce the levels of air pollution within the zone. Businesses which operate within the zone are being encouraged to swap their vehicles for zero-emission ones, which will not be subject to charges. In order to alleviate the financial burden of replacing the vehicles, a £7.5 million interest-free loan scheme has been launched. These loans and grants will be made available to business owners who mainly operate within the proposed new Clean Air Zone.

All commercial vehicles which do not pass the standard are required to pay a charge in order to gain access to the Clean Air Zone. However, private vehicles and light goods vehicles will carry no charge.

Is air pollution a problem in Leeds?

Air pollution is the harmful particles suspended in the air and gases which we cannot see but breathe in on a daily basis. It has been proven by many reliable sources that serious air pollution has a detrimental effect on health. It is worse for those with existing medical conditions, pregnant women, the elderly and children under the age of 14 years. It is also thought to cause low birth weight and reduced lung development of growing children.

The city of Leeds is one of the largest cities in England, outside London and has been identified together with other large cities, as one which needs to reduce its levels of air pollution.

What causes air pollution in Leeds?

These are many sources of pollution in all major cities, but the largest source in Leeds city center comes from vehicle emissions. Other sources are from the construction industry, open fires and central heating boilers. Tyre and brake pad wear is also known to add to the mixture.

The main pollutants found in the city air are nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulate matter PM2.5 and PM10, sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (VOC). The most abundant and dangerous are the PM particles and nitrogen dioxide. Both of which are undetectable by people without special instruments.

Leeds City Council is openly encouraging all drivers to switch off their engines when parked or stuck in gridlocked traffic. This is of particular importance around schools and taxi ranks. People often leave their engines running so that the heater or air conditioner can still be operated. Some of the newer vehicles have an auto stop/start system fitted as standard. This feature automatically turns off the engine once the car stops moving, but restarts at the touch of the accelerator.

Where is the cleanest air quality in Leeds?

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