The main cause of pollution in Middlesbrough is traffic. Although emission limits set for new cars are reducing the pollutants being emitted this is counteracted by the increasing number of cars on our roads. Controls on industry place limits on the emissions produced, and permits, regulation and enforcement ensure that these limits are adhered to.
We monitor air quality at two static sites. Air quality analysers operate continuously to measure a number of pollutants, including those produced by vehicle exhausts such as nitrogen dioxide and PM10 particulates. The measured results confirm that Middlesbrough's air quality is often better than other towns and cities in Britain.
In the event that measured levels of pollutants exceed the air quality objectives set by the government, an Air Quality Management Area must be declared. Middlesbrough's air quality has always met the objectives set and the town has never needed to declare an Air Quality Management Area. Monitoring will continue in order to ensure that current and future standards are met.
It's also an objective of Middlesbrough Council to reduce pollution. Everyone can help by taking a few minutes to think of ways they can reduce pollution by making small changes to their lifestyle.
Requesting advice on air quality
You can use Report It to ask us for air quality advice. Choose 'Air Quality & Smoke Pollution' from the drop-down menu, then tick 'Air quality advice'.
Air quality today
There are a number of ways you can obtain up to date information regarding air quality in the borough.
Through the Defra website you can see an overview of pollution levels in the north east along with detailed hourly data from the Breckon Hill air monitoring site in Middlesbrough.
You can also get information regarding air quality in the north east of England by calling 0800 55 66 77 (freephone).
Air quality data and reports
Air quality data and reports, including the Annual Status Report (ASR) and local nitrogen dioxide (NO2) plan outline business case, are available on the open data website. Historic data for Tees Valley air quality is also available.