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How much of a problem is air pollution in the UK anway?



It's a big problem. It is thought that up to 36,000 deaths each year in the UK are caused by air pollution.

A line illustration of a map of the UK. differnet areas have circles over them indicating illustrative air pollution hotspots

How polluted is it where I am?

The UK government makes air quality forecasts available (a bit like a weather forecast) where you can see the latest air pollution levels for your area on a map. You can see the froecasts for today and the next 3 days on our Forecasts page.


On the Defra page you can also search by town or postcode to see more local information on what the air pollution levels are like near you.


The forecast is graded from pale green (low) to purple (very high). On high pollution days adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors, and particularly if they experience symptoms. You can find health advice related to the forecast gradings on the Defra Daily Air Quality Index pages.

How about effects on nature?


Air pollution is bad for nature, as well as people, and is impacting on and contributing to the loss of wildlife. Scientific evidence clearly shows negative effects of air pollution on wild plants, trees, fungi, mosses and lichens, with knock-on effects for wildlife and ecosystems in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

line drawing of plants


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If you would like to find out more about where all the stats, facts and figures have come from, see our references page