“Air pollution from traffic is a public health crisis, claiming thousands of lives each year and particularly harmful for small children, pregnant women and people living in poverty. For people living in an official Pollution Zone or near traffic-choked streets, breathing in toxic air is an inescapable fact of life. It should not be this way, we have the right to breathe clean air just as we have the right to drink clean water.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland Air Pollution Campaigner Emilia Hanna
Top 7 most polluted streets for Particulate Matter in 2016
Figures in microgrammes per cubic metre (μg/m3).
Perth Atholl Street - 21
Edinburgh Queensferry Road - 20
Edinburgh Salamander St - 20
Aberdeen King Street - 19
Crieff High Street - 19
Falkirk West Bridge Street - 19
Edinburgh Glasgow Road - 18
The Scottish air quality objective is 18 (μg/m3), so all these sites fail the objective.
The Air Quality (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2002 required this objective to have been met by 2010.
Traffic-derived air pollution, mainly composed of fine particles and toxic gases, has been linked with cancer, allergies, asthma, strokes, heart attacks, restricted foetal development, damaged lung development in children, and more recently, the onset of dementia in adults. It causes 2500 early deaths in Scotland each year, and is second only to smoking in terms of its mortality impacts.
"It is no surprise that, yet again year after year, West Bridge Street in Falkirk continues to beach the Scottish limit as there is no evidence of Falkirk Council changing the road layout to address the issue.”
Friends of the Earth Falkirk co-ordinator Norman Philip