Information on how the council monitors air quality, air quality in the local area, sources of air pollution and effects on health, pollen monitoring, controlling air pollution from businesses, and air quality assessments for planning applications.
If you are being affected by smells or odours, smoke or dust please visit either the Smells, odours and dustand/or Smoke, fires and bonfirespages of the site for more information.
If you need to report an air pollution problem to the council, you can
Report air pollution
or for urgent problems, by calling:
Tel: (01482) 396301 (Office hours Monday - Thursday 8:30am to 5:30pm and Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm)
Tel: (01482) 393939 (Out of hours)
The council uses a network of around 80 diffusion tubes (or NOx tubes) located along principal traffic routes across the East Riding to monitor nitrogen dioxide, a key pollutant from vehicle exhausts. They are small plastic tubes that can be attached to lamposts and road signs, and are collected and changed over once a month. The locations and results are presented in our most recent progress report, and are reviewed periodically.
In addition to the NOx tube surveys, the council has previously operated a network of air quality monitoring stations, to provide more detailed information on background and roadside air quality in our area. Levels of key pollutants have been recorded from stations in Beverley, Bridlington, Goole, and Preston, and archive data is available by emailing the environmental control team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling (01482) 396301.
The council has to produce periodic review and assessment and progress reports for air quality in the East Riding of Yorkshire, based on the results of its monitoring. Recent reports are available to download in the following pdf documents.
Air Quality Update and Screening Assessment 2015 (pdf 1.39mb opens in new window)
Diffusion Tube - Summary of NOx results 2009-2014 (pdf 75kb opens in new window)
Air Quality Update and Screening Assessment 2012 (pdf 1mb opens in new window)
Air Quality Progress Report 2011 (pdf 1mb opens in new window)
If you would like to comment on any draft reports, or view older reports or other available data, please email us at email@example.com or call (01482) 396301.
You can view information held by the Environment Agency on air pollution in your local area by visiting the GOV.uk website:
GOV.uk - Check local environmental data (external website)
You can also search the Defra air quality website to view current pollution forecasts and air quality information for the East Riding and other locations:
DEFRA - air quality (external website)
The council published Stage 1 of the first round of review and assessment in March 1999, followed by a combined Stage 2 and 3 assessment published in April 2001. These documents set out the origins of local air quality management in the East Riding.
Stage 1 Air Quality Review and Assessment (pdf 776kb opens in new window)
Stage 2 and 3 Air Quality Review and Assessment (pdf 2mb opens in new window)
Many of the processes involved in industry, power generation, transportation, and domestic activities produce air pollution, as do natural events such as volcanic eruptions and decomposing organic matter. A major contributor to air pollution in the UK is from traffic emissions, particularly in urban areas. The following list shows key air pollutants in the UK and the estimated contribution from different sources.
The quality of the air we breathe is affected when there are impurities in the air such as oxides of sulphur and nitrogen or carbon monoxide or fine particles. These can cause an irritation of the air passages resulting in increased secretions and narrowing them, which makes it difficult to get enough air into our lungs.
The most vulnerable people to air pollution are those who are already suffering from respiratory problems such as asthma, and heart disease. It is of course advisable to avoid smoky environments where the air quality is obviously poor. It is also advisable to ensure adequate ventilation and protection when working in dusty conditions or with chemicals.
If you suffer from a respiratory disease it is possible that air pollution may be a contributory factor. Your doctor will be able to advise you on that and also advise whether poor air quality is continuing to have an adverse effect.
The NHS provides health advice on their website for problems associated with air pollution.
NHS - health advice for air pollution (external website)
During the grass pollen season (typically late May to early August) each year the environmental control team monitors grass pollen levels at its monitoring location on the roof of Wilbert Court flats in Beverley. The results are submitted to the Met Office. These results are analysed and then combined with results from monitoring stations across the country to derive national forecasts.
Met Office Pollen Forecasts (external website)
If you require any further information about the grass pollen monitoring, please contact the environmental control team:
Tel: (01482) 396301
Historical records are kept and spreadsheets can be emailed if they are of interest to you.
The council issues permits to certain types of business that might have an impact on air quality. The permits contain certain conditions that the businesses have to comply with, including emission limits. We routinely inspect industrial processes and other business premises to make sure they are complying with these conditions.
You can find out more information on the Environmental Permitting page.
A list of the current businesses that have an environmental permit from the council can be found on the Environmental Permits - Public Register page.
Most individual planning applications are for development which is unlikely to have a significant impact on local air quality. However some larger schemes may either be introducing new sources of air pollution, such as a new road or industry, or introducing sensitive uses in an area with poor air quality, and you are advised to seek specialist advice from an air quality consultant in these cases:
Directory of environmental consultants (external website)
If your planning application includes proposals for a biomass boiler or combined heat and power system, please complete and submit one of the following forms to the planning department with your application:
Planning biomass boiler information request form (word 116kb opens in new window)
Planning combined heat and power information request form (word 119kb opens in new window)
The National Planning Policy Framework requires planning policies to comply and contribute towards achieving EU limit values or national objectives for air pollution, taking into account the presence of Air Quality Management Areas and the cumulative impacts on air quality from individual sites in local areas.
The National Planning Policy Framework is available on the Government's planning website:
Gov.uk - National Planning Policy Framework (external website)
There is National Planning Practice Guidance available as an online resource:
National Planning Practice Guidance - Air quality (external website)
Environmental Protection UK and the Institute of Air Quality Management have also produced useful guidance on planning and air quality:
Environmental Protection UK & IAQM - Air quality planning guidance (pdf 950kb opens in new window)