HomeBlogWhat Are the Main Sources of Air Pollution in the UK?

What Are the Main Sources of Air Pollution in the UK?

Air pollution is the nagging problem of almost every part of the world. But what are the main sources of air pollution in the UK, and is it possible to minimise the risks? Keep reading!

Why is air pollution so dangerous?

When you listen to the radio, read a newspaper or watch TV, you probably encounter a lot of mentions of smog and air pollution.

Smog is a combination of the words “smoke” and “fog” which is pretty self-explanatory. When talking about this harmful substance, we need to mention its two main components:

  • PM 2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres. It easily enters the lungs and our bloodstream. It can have a tremendous effect on seniors).
  • PM 10 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres. It causes respiratory problems, coughing, and chronic lung conditions like asthma).

Polluted air and smog are extremely dangerous for our healths, as long-term exposure to these substances causes:

  • cancers,
  • chronic bronchitis,
  • cardiac arrhythmias,
  • respiratory diseases,
  • asthma,
  • heart attacks,
  • circulatory diseases,
  • low-energy levels,
  • or even premature death.

sources of air pollution in uk

What causes air pollution in the UK?

When talking about air pollution, you may wonder what the main sources of air pollution in the UK are.

While analysing the sources of emissions of particulate matters in the UK, it’s been determined that:

  • 12% of air pollution is caused by road transport,
  • industrial processes and solvent use are responsible for 13% of air pollution in the UK,
  • plants and industrial combustion cause 16% of air pollution,
  • 38% of air pollution in the UK results from household activities such as burning coal and wood in solid fuel stoves and open fires.

The UK pollution sources can be surprising to many of us, as people usually assume that the problem is caused by big plants and corporations and there is little individuals can do to improve the situation.

However, as you can see, the vast majority of air pollution in the UK results from the activity of individual citizens.

Sources of air pollution in the UK

If you want to decrease air pollution in your area, leave your car in the garage and use public transportation, turn off your car engine when you wait for someone or stand in traffic jams and offer your co-worker that you can commute to the office together. Contrary to what you may think, such small actions can make a difference. Invest in air quality sensors and keep an eye on the air you breathe in to live a long and healthy life.

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