Air pollution drops in Worthing since virus outbreak

Pollution levels have dropped in Worthing since restrictions on movement were put in place last week.

Sunday, 29th March 2020, 12:24 pm
A deserted Worthing town centre

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO₂) levels in the air have fallen by almost half – from 43 micrograms per cubic metre to 24, new analysis reveals.

This is based on average readings taken in March 2019 and in March 2020, since people were told to work from home wherever possible.

Nitrogen dioxide, released from car exhausts, is a serious air pollutant and also indirectly contributes to the warming of the planet.

The A27 in Hove - photo taken this week

According to DEFRA, there is evidence high levels of NO₂ can inflame the airways in our lungs and, over a long period of time, affect how well they work.

The emissions were recorded at a monitoring station on the A27 roadside in Worthing.

This zone is designated an Air Quality Management Area by the council, because the levels of NO₂ at the site exceed the national annual mean objective of 40 micrograms per cubic metre.

The BBC analysed average daily NO2 emissions at the monitoring station in the eight days since Boris Johnson told people they should work from home and compared it with the equivalent week last year.

Photos taken of the dual carriageway in recent days show the normally busy road eerily empty of cars.

It comes after people have been told to stay in their homes and avoid unnecessary trips in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.

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