Air quality and COVID

Bradford’s air quality improved markedly during the lockdown but is back up to illegal values again (40mg/m3 of NO2). The Centre for Cities report uses DEFRA figures, showing this pattern of badly bouncing back for most cities in Britain. Bradford has the worst nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels of the 49 cities studied, both before and after COVID.

NO2 is a major polluter from petrol-driven traffic, and gaining legal levels is the aim of the Clean Air Zone starting next year. The health professionals of Born in Bradford point out that legal levels are not safe, and that particulate matter from brakes stays in lungs and blood is another killer pollutant of traffic, whether petrol or electric-driven. BSTA would like to see the Clean Air Zone insistence on ‘clean’ engines extended to all traffic, with support for those can’t afford the upgrades.

In another recent report air pollution is shown to be associated with higher risk of catching COVID. Air quality really must be improved way better than simply the illegal limits.