Air pollution can have both short-term health impacts caused by high concentrations on a single day, or long-term impacts caused by continual low-level exposure over a long period of time. 

The table below displays some of the potential effects of the air pollutants monitored in Bath and North East Somerset.

More information on the health impacts can be found here.

Pollutant Potential effects
Particulate Matter (PM)
  • Tiny particles can penetrate deep into the lungs, and some into the bloodstream
  • Aggravation of asthma, and other respiratory symptoms
  • An increase in hospital admissions
  • Decreased lung function
  • Long term exposure can decrease lifespan
Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
  • Inflammation of the airways
  • Increased susceptibility to respiratory infections
  • Increased susceptibility to allergens
  • Exacerbates the symptoms of lung and heart conditions
Benzene
  • A known carcinogen
  • A moderate eye and skin irritant
  • Can reduce the production of red and white blood cells

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