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.

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
  • A known carcinogen
  • A moderate eye and skin irritant
  • Can reduce the production of red and white blood cells

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