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Levels of air pollution in Hitchin & Stevenage this Winter

Reporting on Air pollution in North Herts and Stevenage – Nitrogen Dioxide readings (2022-2023)

Over the winter of 2022/23 members of the North Herts & Stevenage Green Party set up monitoring stations at several locations in Hitchin and Stevenage to measure the cumulative levels of Nitrogen dioxide. North Herts Council have only two stations and Stevenage Borough Council only one and so have a very limited understanding of the levels of Nitrogen dioxide to which residents are exposed.

Nitrogen dioxide contributes to acid rain, is an initiator of ozone, which is harmful to living organisms, and also reacts to form Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas far more powerful than Carbon dioxide. Levels of Nitrogen dioxide can also be considered a proxy for PM10 and PM2.5, minute particles which when we breathe polluted air get into our bloodstream and lead to serious health conditions.

The current UK Air Quality Objectives for Nitrogen dioxide are set at 40 micrograms/cubic metre of air and the results show that for most of the locations in Hitchin the levels recorded were at or below that level. However, for one location in Stevenage levels in excess of 50 micrograms/m3 were recorded.

 Deolinda Eltringham, our Membership Officer and Green Party candidate for Hitchin Bearton in the upcoming local elections, has written a full report of the findings of the winter monitoring complete with maps showing the levels measured at each location in Hitchin and Stevenage.

Read Deolinda’s Report here