Air quality in Newcastle upon Tyne

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Newcastle upon Tyne

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Newcastle upon Tyne?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Temperature66.2°C
Humidity56%
Wind8.1 mp/h
Pressure1027 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time United Kingdom city ranking

Tooltip icon
#cityUS AQI
1 Wretham, England

122

2 Ruislip, England

91

3 Newcastle upon Tyne, England

86

4 Rosyth, Scotland

86

5 Hounslow, England

84

6 Feltham, England

82

7 Lewes, England

71

8 Musselburgh, Scotland

68

9 Brighton, England

65

10 Leigh, England

65

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Newcastle upon Tyne aqi ranking

Real-time Newcastle upon Tyne air quality ranking

Tooltip icon
#stationUS AQI
1 Newcastle Cradlewell Roadside

63

2 Beasley Avenue

61

3 Gateshead Bottle Bank

40

4 Newcastle Centre

37

5 Newcastle Cradlewell Roadside 2

5

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

61

live AQI index
Moderate

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Newcastle upon Tyne?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 61 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
16.7 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x1

PM2.5 concentration in Newcastle upon Tyne air is currently 1 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Newcastle upon Tyne?

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

Forecast

Newcastle upon Tyne air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Saturday, Sep 18

Moderate 57 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Sunday, Sep 19

Good 48 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Monday, Sep 20

Good 19 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Moderate 61 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon66.2°53.6°
Wind rotating 263 degree

8.9 mp/h

Wednesday, Sep 22

Good 27 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon66.2°55.4°
Wind rotating 255 degree

13.4 mp/h

Thursday, Sep 23

Good 13 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon57.2°53.6°
Wind rotating 266 degree

22.4 mp/h

Friday, Sep 24

Good 16 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon62.6°57.2°
Wind rotating 252 degree

13.4 mp/h

Saturday, Sep 25

Good 11 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon68°57.2°
Wind rotating 221 degree

13.4 mp/h

Sunday, Sep 26

Good 17 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon64.4°51.8°
Wind rotating 220 degree

17.9 mp/h

Monday, Sep 27

Good 13 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon59°46.4°
Wind rotating 264 degree

13.4 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Newcastle upon Tyne

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Newcastle upon Tyne

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Newcastle upon Tyne

What is the air quality index of Newcastle upon Tyne?

Newcastle upon Tyne is often known as the shortened form of just Newcastle. It is the most populous city and metropolitan borough in North East England. It is situated on the northern bank of the River Tyne, approximately 13.7 kilometres from the North Sea. A 2019 census recorded the population as being just over 300,000 people. The regional nickname for both the dialect spoken and its people from the surrounding area is “Geordie”.

In early 2021, Newcastle was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 55. This is according to classifications laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded levels of the pollutants were as follows: PM2.5 - 14 µg/m³, PM10 - 14.5 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 39.5 µg/m³. The advice given when figures reach this level is to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air into the house. People with a sensitive disposition should avoid outdoor activity until the air quality improves. If going outside is unavoidable, then a good quality face mask should be worn at all times.

What is the main source of air pollution in Newcastle upon Tyne?

Pollutants in the air come mainly from human activities such as industry, burning fossil fuels, road traffic and space heating. Some also occur naturally such as the sea, wind-blown dust and decomposing organic matter.

As with most other cities in the twenty-first century, the major source of air pollution comes from vehicles. Their emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), to be precise. The local authorities reported that levels of PM2.5 and PM10 rarely are exceeded but stress that there is no level of Particulate Matter pollution that does not have detrimental effects on human health. The burning of solid fuel in open fires and stoves accounts for 38 per cent of the UK’s emissions of PM2.5.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Newcastle upon Tyne?

The Environment Act 1995 requires all local councils to monitor the air quality in areas under their jurisdiction and take measures accordingly. There are 9 pollutants that are required to be monitored, these are: PM2.5 and PM10 particles, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), benzene (C6H6), 1, 3 butadiene, carbon monoxide (CO) and lead (Pb).

The local authorities are already introducing measures to reduce the occurrence of air pollution. They are creating more efficient bus routes and cycle networks across the city. Introducing cleaner vehicles which are controlled or owned by the Council. Traffic signals are being more closely monitored to improve traffic flow and prevent queuing traffic with idling engines.

They are also promoting initiatives such as car-sharing and car clubs and providing more charging points for electric and ultra-low emissions vehicles.

Newcastle has some of the worst air pollution in the UK yet residents seem to be oblivious to this fact.

The organisation “Friends of the Earth” have launched a campaign to raise awareness of air pollution as it emerged Newcastle is among the worst affected areas.

A recent survey showed that almost half of the adults in the North East are concerned about the quality of air in their city, but only 2 per cent consider the air that they breathe to be poor quality. This is despite the fact that according to the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs all ‘air quality zones’ in the North East are currently breaking legal air pollution limits.

What Friends of the Earth are doing is providing residents with Clean Air Kits which will enable them to test the quality of air in their immediate environment. Maybe then will they realise that there is a potential problem.

What can people do to improve the dirty air in Newcastle upon Tyne?

One of the ways that can make the biggest difference is to reduce the number of car journeys made. Alternative ways to get to the destination should be sought after. Is it possible to walk there or cycle? Most large cities have “Park and Ride” facilities to try to reduce the number of cars in the city centre. Vehicles are parked in large dedicated parking areas which are well-connected to a frequent bus service into the city. There is no charge to park the car and the bus fare is always reasonable. It is meant to be cheaper than paying to park the car in the city centre car parks.

Try not to let your vehicle stand idle with the engine running as this creates a lot of pollution in a relatively small area. Monitoring stations placed around busy road junctions always record much higher levels of pollutants than in areas where traffic passes by freely.

What are the effects of breathing Newcastle upon Tyne’s poor quality air?

Air pollution has an impact on everyone living and working in Newcastle upon Tyne. However, it is the most vulnerable people such as children under the age of 14 years, senior citizens, pregnant women and those with pre-existing heart and respiratory conditions who will experience the effects most. People living near busy roads are exposed to higher levels of road traffic pollution.

PM2.5 and PM10 can harm the human cardiovascular and respiratory systems and can exacerbate asthma attacks and other such problems. Because these particles are so small, they can easily bypass the body’s self-defence mechanism and penetrate deeply into the lungs.

Nitrogen dioxide causes inflammation of the airways and can irritate the eyes, nose and throat. Long term exposure leads to impaired lung function and possible respiratory problems.

What is the level of air pollution in Newcastle upon Tyne?

Looking back at the recorded figures from 2019 it can be seen that the air quality in Newcastle throughout the year was “Good” with figures between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For 8 months of the year, the WHO target figure was achieved which is 10 µg/m³ or less. During February and April, the air quality was “Moderate” with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The remaining two months of January and November saw “Good” levels between 10 and 12 µg/m³. Looking back at previous years it can be seen that the quality is getting very slightly worse. The 2017 figure was 7.3 µg/m³, in 2018 it was 9 µg/m³ and in 2019 it rose to 10.2 µg/m³.

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