Environmental Standards Scotland is calling for a tightening of the air pollution limits for particulate matter that is currently set out in the Air Quality Standards (Scotland) Regulations. 

They have published a new report: ‘Particulate matter in Scotland – an assessment of the evidence, ambition and prospects’, which assesses where the country now stands in terms of its progress in improving air quality.

The report was prepared following the publication of new guidance by the World Health Organisation in 2021, advising that more stringent limits for particulate matter should be introduced to safeguard public health.

In 2016, Scotland was the first country in Europe to adopt the 2005 World Health Organisation guideline of an annual mean 10 µg/m³ for PM2.5 as a domestic objective

The report explains that Scotland initially made good progress in reducing PM levels but, as these were mostly down to what is described as ‘easy wins’, renewed ambition is require to ensure continuing improvement.

In 2022, 89% of sites with data capture of at least 75% (67 of 75 sites) measured an average concentration in exceedance of the WHO air quality guidelines of 5 µg/m³ for annual PM2.5. Of those which exceeded it, they did so by an average of 18% (a mean of 5.88 µg/m³)

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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