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Air quality

Air quality in Middlesbrough

The main cause of air pollution in Middlesbrough is traffic. However, tighter controls on vehicle emissions, and the use of electric or hybrid vehicles, are helping to improve local and national air quality levels.

Industrial processes which produce emissions that can affect air quality are also controlled. These controls add to the other measures being taken to make sure the air in Middlesbrough is as clean as possible.

Air quality monitoring

We monitor air quality at two sites in the town to make sure that Middlesbrough's air meets air quality standards. The sites are located at Breckon Hill and at Macmillan College.

These sites continuously measure nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone. We also have diffusion tubes to measure benzene and 1,3-butadiene, and a network of nitrogen dioxide tubes across the town.

In addition to the continuous monitors, we have a network of diffusion tubes across the town, with approximately 20 sites.

Our data tells us that Middlesbrough's air quality is often better than other towns and cities in Britain, and continues to meet national air quality standards.

Our responsibilities

All councils must review and assess air quality in their area against a range of air quality standards. If air quality standards are not being met, or are unlikely to be met, the council must declare an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). It must then prepare an action plan to reduce air pollution levels.

Middlesbrough's air quality has always met national standards and we have never needed to declare an AQMA.

Requesting advice on air quality

You can use Report It to ask us for air quality advice. Choose 'Air Quality & Smoke Pollution' from the drop-down menu, then tick 'Air quality advice'.

Air quality today

There are a number of ways you can get up-to-date information about air quality in the town.

You can find information on air quality on Defra's UK-Air website. Pollution forecasts are updated daily and are available via the UK-Air homepage, by signing up to UK-Air email bulletins, or on the Defra UK-Air Twitter.

Air quality data

Air quality data and reports, including the Annual Status Report (ASR) and local nitrogen dioxide (NO2) plan outline business case, are available on the open data website. Historic data for Tees Valley air quality is also available.