|4||Hope Valley, England|
|6||Holywood, Northern Ireland|
|7||Bangor, Northern Ireland|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 57 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 15 µg/m³|
|PM10|| 25.9 µg/m³|
|NO2|| 14.8 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Wakefield air is currently 1 times above WHO exposure recommendation
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
|Tuesday, Jul 20|
Good 49 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jul 21|
Moderate 63 US AQI
|Thursday, Jul 22|
Moderate 57 US AQI
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Saturday, Jul 24|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 115 US AQI
|Sunday, Jul 25|
Moderate 54 US AQI
|Monday, Jul 26|
Moderate 61 US AQI
|Tuesday, Jul 27|
Good 38 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jul 28|
Good 36 US AQI
|Thursday, Jul 29|
Good 19 US AQI
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Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, England. It stands on the banks of the River Calder close to the eastern edge of the Pennines. According to the 2011 census Wakefield had an estimated population of 100,000 people. Though in 2021 the figure is probably higher now.
In the 18th century, Wakefield was an important industrial city trading in corn, coal and textiles. It grew in importance due to its position as an inland port on the navigable River Calder.
In early 2021, Wakefield was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of just 10. This is according to the classifications suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded levels of the pollutants were as follows: PM2.5 - 2.4 µg/m³, PM10 - 4.1 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 15.4 µg/m³. With levels as relatively low as these, doors and windows can be opened to let the fresh air into the house and all types of outdoor exercise can be enjoyed without fear of poor quality air.
The main pollutant in and around the Wakefield area is nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Because the main source of this pollutant is from vehicular emissions, it comes as no surprise that the areas with the highest readings are near the main arterial roads and at the busy junctions.
Another cause for concern is that from the Particulate Matter known as PM2.5 and PM10. These mainly come from natural sources such as dust and other naturally occurring small particles. In cities, they are caused by the abrasion of tyres on the road surface, the friction between brake disks and pads and the transportation of powdery material in uncovered trucks. Construction sites can be the main cause through the demolition of the existing buildings and the reconstruction of the new builds. Diesel engines also contribute to these PM particles.
After a recent audit during August 2020, which examined the figures, it was discovered that the recommended level for nitrogen dioxide had been breached. Standards dictate that the level must not exceed 40 µg/m³, but at one monitoring site on a very busy road, the reading was noted to be 41 µg/m³.
A local councillor who lives on a busy arterial road in Wakefield counted 178 heavy goods vehicles (HGV)s in a period of 45 minutes as they passed by his house. He was reported to have said that heavily polluted air seriously affected children with asthma and called for measures to be taken to prevent such vehicles using this as an access road. Further down the road is a school that has over 1,200 students who are subject to this level of polluted air.
Some air pollution such as smoke, dust and smells can be a nuisance to neighbours and seriously affect the local air quality. However, there are laws in place to offer protection against such occurrences. Wakefield Council is covered by the Smoke Control Order which means it is an offence for smoke to be emitted from chimneys. All chimneys are covered by this order including domestic fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, range cookers and boilers.
Fuels labelled as “authorised” must be used in “smokeless” zones and must show no signs of visible emissions. Wood can be used but it must be more than 2 years old and labelled as “Ready to burn” because the moisture is so much lower after the passage of time. Either that or “kiln-dried” wood should be used.
Bonfires are still permitted for domestic use but they too are now subject to rules and regulations. Composting or recycling could be alternative ways forward. If having a bonfire is unavoidable, then neighbours should be informed as to when it will happen which gives them the chance to change their plans if necessary.
Only dry organic waste is permitted to be burnt on a domestic bonfire so make sure there is no plastic, painted wood rubber or other foreign bodies which would produce dark coloured smoke.
Consider the wind direction before starting the fire so the smoke does not drift across neighbours’ gardens. Try to avoid lighting fires at the weekend when people want to be in their garden for pleasure.
Many local authorities in West Yorkshire are considering the introduction of Clean Air Zones in parts of their city centres. This move is designed to reduce the amount of highly polluting vehicles from the busy centres. Some lorries, coaches and taxis will fall foul of the legislation as may stretch limousines. Wakefield council, in particulara is only able to licence vehicles with up to eight seats. Anything larger than that would be classed as a minibus and as such, subject to different rules and regulations.
Even though you can’t see it, the air you breathe can affect your health. Polluted air can cause difficulty breathing, flare-ups of allergies or asthma attacks, and other lung problems. Long-term exposure to air pollution can raise the risk of other diseases, including heart disease and cancer.
The effects of breathing in polluted air effects those with pre-existing medical conditions more adversely than fit, healthy people.
Several different types of pollutants can affect your health. When the weather is warm, an invisible gas called ozone can make it harder for some people to breathe. This gas is created when sunlight triggers a chemical reaction between oxygen and certain pollutants from cars, factories, and other sources. It tends to be at a greater level during the early afternoons after the effects of the morning sunshine.
Another type of outdoor pollutant that affects health is particulate matter such as PM2.5 and PM10. These are fine and coarse particles that are released when fuel is burned. They can come from cars, power plants, and wildfires. Research has linked particulates to both short- and long-term lung problems.
To track these and other pollutants, air quality monitors have been installed in 1000’s of locations across the UK. A quick search online will lead to many trustworthy sites such as IQAir.com that can provide all the information a person needs to know before making personal choices about the state of the air.