Air pollution in your street

Air quality is worse than the World Health Organisation’s danger boundary for more than 97% of UK homes. is a newly launched website which tells you the air quality for any address in the UK. The score is based on estimated particulate matter (PM size 2.5 or 10) – the small particles that enter your lungs and blood stream causing a multitude of health problems – and Nitrogen Dioxide – the gas made by burning fossil fuels which also contributes to poor health. Children and the elderly are most at risk, but they affect us all.

We used the tool to investigate addresses along the Bradford-Shipley route. We found most schools and residential areas have levels of air pollution  more than double the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit.

Air quality in Bradford-ShipleyPostcodeHow bad in the UK: 0 (best) – 100 (worst)PM2.5 (WHO Limit 5mcg/m3)PM10 (WHO Limit 15mcg/m3)NO2 (WHO Limit 10 mcg/m3)
Shipley CE Primary SchoolBD18 2PT7611.2017.3024.08
Wycliffe PrimaryBD18 3HZ7810.8617.2126.46
Saltaire PrimaryBD18 4NR5710.3216.3119.85
St Warburgas PrimaryBD18 4RL5110.3616.1017.59
The Terrace Cafe BarBD18 4SB8411.0517.9129.10
Flat 100 Wycliffe Gardens (on Saltaire Road)BD18 3JB7410.8317.2423.43
18 Ashdown Court, Bradford RoadBD18 3PL9712.3921.5632.53
Salt Beer Factory SaltaireBD18 4DH7810.7917.3826.17
Coop Food Store SaltaireBD18 4SD7610.7517.2225.48
High Craggs PrimaryBD18 2ES6811.0716.9620.37
Frizinghall Primary SchoolBD9 4HP6711.0717.0819.70
Bradford Grammar SchoolBD9 4JP6410.9916.8619.12
Al Mu min SchoolBD8 7DA6811.111719.99
One in a Million Free SchoolBD8 7DX6811.1217.0220.23
Green Lane PrimaryBD8 8HT6711.021608720.07
203 Manningham LaneBD8 7HP8111.4817.8224.91
Consulate of PakistanBD1 4SJ9512.3719.9131.91

We are particularly concerned at the asthma rates in Bradford. Air pollution contributes to a third of Bradford’s childhood asthma, but it affects all ages.

The figures above are based on the measurements made by local authorities at specific monitoring points, and estimated for addresses between them by Imperial College London.

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.