UK set to miss own targets on air pollution – these are the 10 worst-affected towns and cities

Targets to reduce sulphur dioxide (SO2), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ammonia and nitrogen oxides are all set to be missed, according to data from Defra.

Though there are several ways to measure air pollution, PM2.5 – tiny particles formed as a result of burning fuel and chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere – are a commonly-used measure.

Because these particles are so small, they are considered dangerous to humans because they can bypass the nose and throat, lodging in lungs and causing long-term problems.

According to the latest data (collected in 2019) from Centre for Cities, these are the 10 areas in the UK with the highest concentrations of PM2.5 particles per 10,000 of the population.

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