Good air quality is vital for our health and quality of life as well as the environment.
Air pollution occurs when the air contains gases, dust, fumes or odour in harmful amounts. That is, amounts which could be harmful to the health or comfort of humans and animals or which could cause damage to plants and materials.
The main sources of air pollution in Slough are due to transport and industry. The main exceedence is due to road traffic, particularly from the motorway.
Under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 the local authority is required to regularly review and assess the local air quality.
The aim of the review is to measure, monitor and identify any areas where the national air quality standards and objectives may be exceeded and designate as an air quality management area (AQMA). If air quality is found to breach the regulations they must create an action plan to deal with this, which can be found in Annex C of the Local Transport Plan.
The local authority also has a legal responsibility to control and keep a register of all industrial processes in the local area with regards to their emissions to the air, which could potentially cause pollution. These include dry cleaners, paint spraying operations, crematoria and petrol stations.
People with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease and angina are more at risk from high levels of air pollution. If you suffer, or you are a parent or carer for someone with these symptoms, you can register with AirTEXT.
AirTEXT is a unique air quality information service, which is designed to send free pollution alerts and health advice by text, email or voicemail on days of elevated air pollution. These alerts aren’t designed to panic you but to help you understand symptoms, have any necessary medication at hand and to prepare your day ahead to reduce the likelihood of any impacts.
For further information or to register, visit the airTEXT website.