What is the Air Quality Strategy?

The Air Quality Strategy was published by the UK Government and the devolved administrations in January 2000. Its aims are to:

  • map out as far as possible future ambient air quality policy in the United Kingdom in the medium term
  • provide best practicable protection to human health by setting health-based objectives for air pollutants
  • contribute to the protection of the natural environment through objectives for the protection of vegetation and ecosystems
  • describe current and future levels of air pollution
  • provide a framework to help identify what we all can do to improve air quality

What are the Air Quality Strategy Objectives?

The Strategy's air quality objectives are set out in table the below:

Air Quality Strategy 2000 objectives and objectives prescribed in regulations for the purpose of local air quality management
Pollutant Objective Concentration measured as Date to be achieved by:
Information and table taken from The Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: Addendum, Defra, February 2003.
Benzene 16.25 ugm-3 (5 ppb) running annual mean 31 December 2003
Benzene (apart from Scotland and Northern Ireland) 5 ugm-3 (1.54 ppb) annual average 31 December 2010
1,3-butadiene 2.25 ugm-3 (1 ppb) running annual mean 31 December 2003
Carbon Monoxide (apart from Scotland) 10 mgm-3 (8.6 ppb) maximum daily running 8-hour mean 31 December 2003
Lead 0.5 ugm-3 annual mean 31 December 2004
0.25 ugm-3 annual mean 31 December 2008
Nitrogen Dioxide 200 ugm-3 (105 ppb)
Not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year
hourly mean 31 December 2005
40 ugm-3 (21 ppb) annual mean 31 December 2005
Sulphur Dioxide 350 ugm-3 (132 ppb)
Not to be exceeded more than 24 times a year
1 hour mean 31 December 2004
125 ugm-3 (47 ppb)
Not to be exceeded more than 3 times a year
24-hour mean 31 December 2004
266 ugm-3 (100 ppb)
Not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year
15-minutes mean 31 December 2005
PM10 Particles 50 ugm-3
Not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year
24-hour mean 31 December 2004
40 ugm-3 annual mean 31 December 2004
PM2.5 Particles 25 ugm-3 annual mean 01 January 2015

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