The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The UK Government and the devolved administrations published the latest UK Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007.

The strategy:

  • sets out a way forward for work and planning on air quality issues
  • sets out the air quality standards and objectives to be achieved
  • introduces a new policy framework for tackling fine particles
  • identifies potential new national policy measures which modeling indicates could give further health benefits and move closer towards meeting the Strategy's objectives.

National air quality objectives and European Directive limit and target values for the protection of human health

Pollutant

Applies

Objective

Concentration measures as

Date to be achieved by

European obligations

Date to be achieved by




Particles (PM10)

UK

50µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

24 hour mean

31/12/04

50µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

1/1/05

UK

40µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/04

40µgm-3

1/1/05

Indicative 2010 objectives for PM10 (from the 2000 Strategy and 2003 Addendum) have been replaced by an exposure reduction approach for PM2.5 (except in Scotland – see below)

Scotland

50µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 7 times a year

24 hour mean

31/12/04



Scotland

18µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/04




Particles (PM2.5)
Exposure Reduction

UK(ex Scotland)

25µgm-3



Annual mean

2020

Target value25 µgm-3

2010

Scotland

12µgm-3

2020

Limit value25 µgm-3

2015

UK urban areas

Target of 15% reduction in concentrations at urban background

Between 2010 and 2020

Target of 20% reduction in concentrations at urban background

Between 2010 and 2020

Nitrogen dioxide

UK

200µgm-3 note to be exceeded more than 18 times a year

1 hour mean

31/12/05

200µgm-3 note to be exceeded more than 18 times a year

1/1/10

UK

40µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/05

40µgm-3

1/1/10

Ozone

UK

100µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 10 times a year

8 hour mean

31/12/05

Target of 120µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 25 times a year averaged over 3 years

21/12/10





Sulphur dioxide

UK

266µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

15 minute mean

31/12/05



UK

350µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

1 hour mean

31/12/04

350µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

1/1/05

UK

125µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

24 hour mean

31/12/04

125µgm-3 not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year

1/1/05

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

UK

0.25ngm-3 B[a]P

As annual average

21/12/10

Target of 1ngm-3

31/12/12



Benzene

UK

16.25 µgm-3

Running annual mean

31/12/03



England and Wales

5µgm-3

Annual average

31/12/10

5 µgm-3

1/1/10

Scotland

3.25µgm-3

Running annual mean

31/12/10



1,3-butadiene

UK

2.25µgm-3

Running annual mean

31/12/03



Carbon monoxide

UK

10mgm-3

Maximum daily running 8 hour mean/in Scotland as running 8 hour mean

31/12/03

10mgm-3

1/1/05

Lead

UK

0.5µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/04

0.5 µgm-3

1/1/05

UK

0.25µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/08


 

National air quality objectives and European Directive limit and target values for the protection of vegetation and ecosystems

Pollutant

Applies

Objective

Concentration measures as

Date to be achieved by

European obligations

Date to be achieved by

Nitrogen oxides

UK

30 µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/00

30 µgm-3

19/7/01

Sulphur dioxide

UK

20µgm-3

Annual mean

31/12/00

20µgm-3

19/7/01

UK

20µgm-3

Winter average

31/12/00

20µgm-3

19/7/01

Ozone: protection of vegetation and ecosystems

UK

Target value of 18,000µgm-3 to be calculated from 1 hour values from May to July and to be achieved, so far as possible, by 2010

Average over 5 years

1/1/10

Target value of 18,000µgm-3 based on AOT40 to be calculated from 1 hour values from May to July, to be achieved, so far as possible, by 2010

1/1/10

 

References:

Defra. The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Volume 1). [Internet]. 2007 . Available from: http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm71/7169/7169_i.pdf