In the week that gave us Valentine’s Day the Daily Mirror reported that Northampton is the worst town for its particulate matter (PM) air pollution. CA-WN decided to dig deeper.
The Mirror story was picked up from indoor air quality experts at HouseFresh who used PM2.5 data collected by AQICN and converted it to the equivalent number of cigarettes passively smoked per year using a formula from Berkeley Earth.
This is the detailed breakdown from HouseFresh:
CA-WN has been monitoring particulate matter (PM) in Northampton and our readings are pretty close to those from the Defra site beside Spring Park in Northampton.
Here's how little Northampton loved its air in Valentine’s Day week:
With this peak on 8 February:
CA-WN's air quality readings and those from the Spring Park suggest that pollution levels are most likely related to amount of traffic on our roads and the hours that we heat our homes. West Northamptonshire Council is reportedly readying its own air quality monitoring system. We will soon know for sure what lies behind Northampton's Bad Air Days.
Further guidance on air pollution can be found here World Health Organisation.