Stanfree Valley Preservation Group has been monitoring local air pollution for three years now. Our district and county councils do not have the effective budget and resources to carry out local air quality monitoring. With this in mind, we decided to do this independently via Friends Of the Earth (Citizen Science) and we will continue to monitor NOx levels every year to associate levels over time.
So, what is NOx?
It is a highly reactive gas known as nitrogen oxide (s) and is a by-product of the burning of fuel (emissions from cars, trucks and buses for example).
Unfortunately, we have exposed a vast increase in levels year on year since 2017.
So, what does this mean in terms of community and environmental health?
Nitrogen oxides can irritate airways in the human respiratory system and is linked to asthma in vulnerable members of the community such as children and the elderly. Long term exposure can lead to respiratory disease and lung infections in people of all ages.
High volumes of nitrate particles can make the air hazy and this can be evident under certain weather conditions.
Environmentally, nitrogen oxides react with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere to form acid rain (acidification).
By reducing fuel use (individuals making more sustainable transport choices), changes to industrial processes, pollutant capture or conversion, levels of air pollution can be decreased.