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(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 70* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Liverpool is currently 4.2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
| Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
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| Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
Moderate 70 US AQI
|Tuesday, Feb 14|
Good 44 US AQI
|Wednesday, Feb 15|
Good 32 US AQI
|Thursday, Feb 16|
Good 10 US AQI
|Friday, Feb 17|
Good 7 US AQI
|Saturday, Feb 18|
Good 15 US AQI
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Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. It is centrally located on the west coast. The mid-2019 population was estimated at almost 500,000 people for the city, but for the metropolitan area, the figure was almost 2.5 million.
Natives of Liverpool are formally referred to as "Liverpudlians" but are more often called "Scousers", a reference to the type of stew made popular by sailors from the city, which also became the most common name for the local accent and dialect.
At the beginning of 2021, Liverpool was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of just 17. This is according to figures suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The concentration of the pollutant PM2.5 was 4.1 µg/m³. With levels as low as these, doors and windows can be safely opened to allow the flow of fresh air inside. All types of outdoor activity can be enjoyed without fear.
Air pollution is indeed seasonal because as the weather gets colder, fossil fuels are used to generate heat for homes and offices. The latest trend is having a wood-burning stove as a secondary heat source as the price of electricity, gas and oil continue to rise. Depending on the source of the wood, it is looked at as a cheap alternative to other fuel sources. It is also very aesthetically pleasing to look at and can often become the centrepiece of any room. Unfortunately, burning wood is a major source of the PM2.5 pollutant, which is extremely bad for our health.
Emissions from road traffic are the main source of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), one of the most harmful pollutant gases, which irritates the lungs and potentially causes breathing difficulties.
Unfortunately, Liverpool fails to meet the European Union air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide, in keeping with many other local authorities across England and Wales.
There are several major thoroughfares through Liverpool that record much higher than average levels of pollution. St Oswald’s Street and Prescot Road in Old Swan are perhaps the two worst with readings of 47 µg/m³ and 51 µg/m³ respectively. At the moment, Liverpool meets the required EU standard for PM2.5 levels.
It’s not just nitrogen dioxide that can cause serious health problems. PM2.5 is another pollutant that has a detrimental impact on human health, including premature mortality, allergic reactions, and cardiovascular disease.
These particles are created during the combustion of solid and liquid fuels, such as for power generation, domestic heating and in vehicle engines.
In January 2020, Liverpool City Council was looking at establishing a 'clean air zone' that would mean more polluting vehicles having to pay to drive through the city centre. The council wants to change the way residents use private vehicles when it comes to travelling within the city. Lime Street and The Strand have already been redesigned with more pedestrian-friendly features.
Air pollution measurements and data from modelling are used to inform the council of air pollution across Liverpool in order for them to take the necessary action. This monitoring of air pollution is now a legal requirement and measures to improve air quality are enforceable by law.
There is one monitoring device located in Speke which records the levels of nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 pollutants. Other devices are used such as Passive Diffusion Tubes which can be randomly placed at strategic points throughout the city to measure nitrogen dioxide. They absorb the chemical from the air. They are collected on a monthly basis and the figures recorded and appropriate actions are taken.
The air monitoring program is currently under review as the city council intend to install more fixed position monitors to provide a more comprehensive database.
Studies are currently being undertaken to ascertain the origin of the various pollutants. These studies use models to estimate which local activities (e.g. buses, HGVs, cars, rail, shipping, industry etc.) are responsible for the air pollution at a particular place, so that action can be taken. These studies show that traffic is the main cause of air pollution in Liverpool and that, overall, cars are the main contributor.
A new report has revealed the devastating damage air pollution is doing to Liverpool’s health. Up to 1,040 deaths per year are directly linked to exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The report also found that primary school-aged children, born in Liverpool from 2011 onwards, could have a reduced average life expectancy of up to five months.
Out of all of the six areas under the control of Liverpool City Council, it was found that all of them were guilty of breaching the legal limits on the concentration of nitrogen dioxide, some also exceeded the recommended guideline set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on PM2.5.
Many residents experience some type of symptoms related to air pollution, such as watery eyes, coughing or noise when breathing. Even for healthy people, polluted air can cause irritation or breathing difficulties during exercise or outdoor activities. Your actual risk depends on your current health, the type and concentration of the pollutant, and the length of time you are exposed to the polluted air.
The most vulnerable groups of people to suffer the effects of polluted air are people with breathing problems such as asthma or emphysema, pregnant women and children under the age of 14 years whose lungs are still developing.
High levels of air pollution can cause immediate health problems and can aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. More stress is put on the heart and lungs which must work harder to supply oxygen to the body and cells within the respiratory system can become irreversibly damaged.
Prolonged exposure to polluted air can speed up the ageing of the lungs and loss of lung capacity, thus decreasing their functionality. Diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and possibly cancer may develop under these circumstances. Ultimately, polluted air can lead to a shorter lifespan.