Air quality in Glasgow

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

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What is the current weather in Glasgow?

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Wind2.3 mp/h
Pressure29.9 Hg

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Real-time Glasgow air quality ranking

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1 Glasgow Broomhill


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7:48, Dec 2

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What is the current air quality in Glasgow?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 36 US AQIPM2.5



PM2.5 concentration in Glasgow is currently 1.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

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What is the current air quality in Glasgow?

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Glasgow air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Wednesday, Nov 29

Good 16 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
35.6° 32°
Wind rotating 31 degree 4.5 mp/h
Thursday, Nov 30

Good 24 AQI US

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Weather icon
35.6° 28.4°
Wind rotating 36 degree 2.2 mp/h
Friday, Dec 1

Good 47 AQI US

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Weather icon
33.8° 28.4°
Wind rotating 82 degree 2.2 mp/h

Good 36 AQI US

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Weather icon 60%
33.8° 30.2°
Wind rotating 50 degree 2.2 mp/h
Sunday, Dec 3

Good 40 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 40%
32° 28.4°
Wind rotating 29 degree 2.2 mp/h
Monday, Dec 4

Good 22 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
35.6° 32°
Wind rotating 33 degree 13.4 mp/h
Tuesday, Dec 5

Good 11 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
35.6° 33.8°
Wind rotating 50 degree 4.5 mp/h
Wednesday, Dec 6

Good 8 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 80%
37.4° 32°
Wind rotating 91 degree 15.7 mp/h
Thursday, Dec 7

Good 8 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
44.6° 39.2°
Wind rotating 88 degree 15.7 mp/h
Friday, Dec 8

Good 4 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
44.6° 41°
Wind rotating 66 degree 15.7 mp/h

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What is the current air quality in Glasgow?

Glasgow is the third most populous city in the United Kingdom and the most populous in Scotland. A 2019 estimation put its population as being over 1,600,000. This figure equates to almost one-third of the entire population of Scotland. During December 2020, Glasgow recorded air quality of “Good” and “Moderate”, where 0-50 is good and 51-100 is moderate. The average figure is 65 US AQI. These are the recommended figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Other pollutants recorded were PM2.5 at 18.9 µg/m³, PM10 at 19.2 µg/m³, ozone (O3) 2.2 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide at 43.3 µg/m³. At these levels, residents are advised to close their windows and doors, and those people who are sensitive to poor air quality are advised to limit their time spent outdoors.

What is the cause of the poor quality air in Glasgow?

It has been reported that poor air quality and pollution cause over 2,500 premature deaths in Scotland, annually.

As with other large cities throughout the world, one of Glasgow’s main source of pollution comes from the number of vehicles on the road.

Is air pollution in Glasgow getting better or worse?

Cleaner Air for Scotland – The Road to a Healthier Future (CAFS) is an organisation who have the vision to reduce air pollution in the future. Their aim is to liaise with other organisations who share their vision.

In 2019 CAFS was the subject of an independent review and the following points were raised. In accordance with local air action plans, all local authorities need to show evidence that they have a corporate travel plan which incorporates a carbon management plan. Glasgow City Council has produced a travel plan for its staff which actively encourages them to make more use of bicycles in the future. It is hoped that 10 per cent of everyday journeys will be made by bikes.

It is hoped that public transport, cycling and walking will all play an important part in Glasgow’s future transportation system.

Due to the COVID 19 situation, the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) has fallen from 56.6 to 18.7 µg/m³. These figures were recorded on Hope Street which is notorious for its poor air quality. This is because it is flanked by high-rise buildings which prevent the wind from dispersing the exhaust fumes from the vehicle travelling to Central Station.

Following a study of some of the UK’s urban areas, it was reported that air pollution in Glasgow accounted for one in every 29 deaths in 2017. Research shows that extended periods of exposure to high levels of toxins results in early mortality, but it also shows that even short-term exposure can lead to death.

Glasgow's average concentration of the PM2.5 particulate was 8.3 μg/m3 in 2010; by 2019, this had dropped to 5.9 μg/m3.

Glasgow has been monitoring the quality of its air since 2000. The figures obtained are compared to the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) who put a limit of the particulate PM10 to 18 µg/m³. A small number of stations have recorded figures higher than this, but overall the situation is looking positive.

In 2019 monitoring sites in Glasgow recorded higher levels of nitrogen dioxide than the permitted levels as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). One of these monitoring sites is called “Kerbside” and is located on Hope Street which is one of the main access roads to Glasgow Central Station. This monitoring station has constantly recorded average annual figures in excess of 40μg/m3 since it began taking measurements in 1998.

Can anything be done to lessen air pollution in Glasgow?

The Scottish government announced in 2017 that is was their intention to introduce 4 Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in Scotland. The first such zone was introduced in 2018 in Glasgow and encompassed the city centre. The first phase of the plan was to lower the emissions produced by buses as they pass through the city centre. The 2018 target stated that buses must reduce their emissions by 20 per cent in order to meet the Euro VI standards. This target will increase by another 20 % each year until 100 per cent is reached at the end of 2022. The second phase will then be implemented which will apply to all vehicles entering the city centre.

The design and reconstruction of some of the arterial roads began in 2019 when Sauchiehall Street West was altered to reflect the importance of cyclists and pedestrians.

National Clean Air Day was held on 20th June 2019 in George square. It was cordoned off to enable its use as a picnic area and a showcase for school children to introduce their work and learn what else can be done to lessen air pollution in Glasgow. Low emission buses were put on display as were electric vehicles (EVs) from major manufacturers. Among these vehicles were taxis and cycles.

What are the health risks with Glasgow’s poor air quality?

There are 38 zones throughout Scotland that are considered to be polluted to such a standard that they exceed the proposed limits. It is a known fact that air pollution can cause the growth of cancerous cells and thus reduce life expectancy. Damage to the heart and lungs is commonplace. Poor air quality exacerbates asthma, causes heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

There is a great deal of evidence which links air pollution to poor health. PM2.5 is particularly bad because of its microscopic size, they have the ability to enter the lungs and penetrate the bronchial tubes where they become lodged in the alveoli. These are the tiny air sacs found at the base of the bronchial tubes. Once here, they can easily enter the bloodstream and eventually get as far as the heart where they increase the risk of death and shorten life expectancy.

The main effect of breathing higher levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) increases the chances of succumbing to respiratory problems. Nitrogen dioxide aggravates the lining of the lungs which become inflamed. This, in turn, leads to reduced immunity to diseases. Wheezing, colds, flu, bronchitis and coughing are all symptomatic with nitrogen dioxide poisoning.

Glasgow air quality data attribution


1 Data source

Where is the cleanest air quality in Glasgow?

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