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What are Air Quality Management Areas?

There are currently over 500 Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA) in the UK

Air Quality Management Areas were introduced in 1997, resulting in the UK government’s drive to achieve its national air quality objectives. Local Authorities carry out reviews and assessments to determine levels of air pollution, and should a Local Authority finds any places where the objectives are not likely to be met, they must declare an AQMA there. Subsequently, the Local Authority will put together a plan to improve air quality, which is known as a Local Air Quality Action Plan. Local Authorities must follow these proceedings under the Environment Act 1995.

What pollution is measured and why?

Find out what the national air quality objectives are here.

The UK must achieve the specified objectives within the following areas:

  • Particles (PM10 & PM2.5)
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Ozone
  • Sulphur dioxide
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Benzene
  • Butadiene
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead

Air pollution is associated with many adverse health impacts and is recognised as a contributing factor in heart disease and cancer. It mainly affects the most vulnerable in society: children, older people, and those with underlying health conditions.

Air pollution costs the UK government up to £20 billion and is responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 people each year. The annual health cost of Particulate Matter alone in the UK is estimated to be around £16 billion. The NHS spends an additional £2.5 billion a year treating people with illnesses directly linked to living in cold, damp, and dangerous conditions.

It’s clear that the cost of air pollution is much too high, which is why effective Air Quality Action Plans are so important.

Ventilation Solutions for Air Quality Action Plans

An effective Air Quality Action Plan relies heavily upon integrating various local government functions, and integration with regional plans, and collaboration with external agencies. Nuaire has a range of products, services, and resources available to assist Local Authorities and other professionals with their involvement in developing and implementing an action plan.

Our product range has been developed specifically for home improvement programmes that seek to improve heating system efficiencies and emission-reducing technologies in new developments and buildings. Managing pollution inside buildings can be controlled with effective air filtration and mechanical extract ventilation.

Nuaire also provides CIBSE accredited CPD's (see our training page) and a range of articles, blogs, campaigns, and videos to help educate individuals about the importance of air quality and the tools available to tackle it.

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