Air pollution

Atmospheric Pollution and Air Quality

Air Quality

Air quality indicates how healthy the air we breathe is. Air pollution leads to poor air quality. This can affect human, animal and plant health and the environment.

Air pollution is caused by natural and man-made pollutants. The pollutants of concern are: carbon monoxide, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide and particles.

Monitoring and improving air quality

The Environment Act 1995 introduced a system of Local Air Quality Management for the UK to ensure pollutant concentrations are within National Air Quality Standards, designed to protect public health and the environment.

We have identified that nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant associated with vehicle emissions, is an air pollutant requiring monitoring within the borough. Other pollutants do not require monitoring at this time.

We monitor nitrogen dioxide throughout the borough using non-automatic and automatic monitoring.

For more information please see the Defra Air Quality website and the Air Quality In Wales.

As well as monitoring air quality the Council has a statutory duty to periodically review and assess the air quality in its area. Annual Updating and Screening Assessments and Progress Reports from 2015 onwards are available below. Reports prior to this date are available on request.

Air Quality Management Areas

On 30th January 2017 an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) was declared. This covers Twynyrodyn Road from the roundabout at the Western end (Tesco's) to the crossroads between Gilfach-Cynon and Arfryn Place. It was necessary to declare an AQMA as nitrogen dioxide levels exceeded the National Air Quality Objective at a number of monitoring locations along this stretch of road. For more information there is a Detailed Air Quality Assessment and map of the area available below.

The next step in improving air quality is that the Local Authority will devise an action plan. Following consultation with relevant stakeholders, measures within that plan will be implemented in order to reduce nitrogen dioxide to acceptable levels.

What can I do to improve air quality?

Road vehicles are a major source of air pollution. You can help by:

  • Avoid using your car for short journeys.
  • Don't start your car until you are ready to drive off.
  • Drive smoothly, don't brake heavily or accelerate rapidly or rev your engine unnecessarily.
  • Maintain your car and keep your tyres at the correct pressure.
  • Try to use public transport where possible.


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