National air pollution data

Explore existing knowledge of air pollution.

Your OPAL air survey results will give you a strong indication of your local air quality. But how do they compare with existing data we have on pollution?

The graphs below show the concentration levels of two major air pollutants across the country - nitrogen dioxide and ammonia.

Nitrogen dioxide is a major pollutant from car exhaust. You'll notice how levels are highest in cities and along major roads. Ammonia in the air comes from agriculture so is more prevalent in farming areas. Both of these pollutants can have damaging effects on vegetation, causing excessive growth of certain plant species and preventing the growth of others. Nitrogen dioxide can also be harmful to our health by irritating the lungs and lowering our resistance to respiratory infections.

National pollution maps for nitrogen dioxide and ammonia

Click on a map to view larger version

Map 1. Nitrogen dioxide concentrations Map 2. Ammonia concentrations
  • Map 1: Nitrogen dioxide in Britain (average concentrations for 2007) © AEA Technology 2007.
  • Map 2: Ammonia in Britain (average concentrations for 2005) © CEH Edinburgh 2005.

Discover pollution levels in your area

The UK Air Pollution Information System (APIS) is an online resource that lets you select an air pollutant and learn about its impacts on a particular area, habitat or species. You can also review existing pollution legislation.

Find out about air pollution levels near you using the UK Air Quality Archive. How do your survey results compare? Is your local air polluted?