Air pollution levels vary from area to area and from day to day. Air quality is affected by a number of sources such as road transport, industry and the burning of wood or coal for home heating.

If your health is good, the air pollution usually experienced in the UK is unlikely to leave you with any serious short-term effects. However, when air pollution is high, some people may experience mild symptoms such as irritation of the airways, sore throats and headaches.

Who is responsible for air quality

The European Union sets legally binding limits for major air pollutants. The primary responsibility for ensuring these limits are met sits with The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Under the Environment Act of 1995, local authorities are required to review air quality in their area. In areas where air quality limits are exceeded, the local authority has to designate an Air Quality Management Area and have a plan describing how they are going to reduce pollution.

Waverley Borough Council is responsible for monitoring and reporting on air quality in the Farnham area. The borough council has designated one Air Quality Management Area in Farnham.

How you can reduce your exposure to air pollution

  • Check the BBC weather forecast for pollution levels in the area.
  • Use a pram cover on your baby’s pushchair/pram.
  • Avoid cycling or walking along busy roads.
  • Get gardening! Plants can reduce toxins and some pollutants. The RHS has information about which houseplants support human health.

Steps you can take to make our air healthier

  • Consider cycling or walking for short journeys.
  • Turn off your engine when in stationary traffic.
  • Combine your trips.
  • If you have children, walk to school or set up a walking bus.
  • If you do not live within walking distance of your children’s school, how about getting together with some other parents who live nearby and setting up a car pool.
  • Support your school to get involved in Farnham in Bloom. Growing trees and plants can help to naturally filter the air.
  • Take public transport where you can.
  • If you’re buying a new car, ask about its emission standards.

Further information about air quality

Air pollution – what it means for your health

 

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