Air quality

Air quality indicates how healthy the air is to breathe. Air pollution leads to poor air quality, which can adversely affect the health of people, animals, plants and the environment.

Air pollution is caused by natural and man-made pollutants which consist of gases, liquid droplets and/or solid particles (particulate matter). Air pollutants include, ozone, oxides of nitrogen, ammonia, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulate matter (e.g. soot, dust, grit etc).

Improving air quality in the county borough

Since the introduction of the 1995 Environment Act and the National Air Quality Strategy (NAQS) all local councils have a duty to review and assess the local air quality and, if necessary, take steps to improve air quality at any location where national standards are not met.

In order to assess air quality within the borough we undertake an air quality monitoring programme.

We routinely monitors for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM10) the main source of which are vehicle emissions. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter are monitored using non-automatic and automatic monitoring equipment.

The following areas have been declared as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA):

Air quality progress reports

Air Quality Assessments

What can I do to improve air quality?

Road vehicles are a major source of air pollution in Caerphilly Borough. You can help reduce road vehicle air pollution by:

  • Avoiding using your car for short journeys of less than 2.5 km (~1.5miles).
  • Don't start your engine until you are ready to move off.
  • Don't rev your car engine unnecessarily.
  • Drive smoothly, don't brake heavily or rapidly accelerate as it increases pollution, uses more fuel and costs more.
  • Maintain your car and keep your tyres at the right pressure.
  • Try to use public transport instead of your car, especially at periods of high pollution such as the rush hour.

You can help reduce other air pollutant concentrations by:

  • Not burning plastics or rubber (burning these materials produces toxic pollutants and is illegal).
  • Using water-based or low-solvent products when using paints, glues, varnishes or wood preservatives, etc.
  • Not lighting a bonfire when air pollution levels are high or the weather is still, cold and wet.
  • Avoidance of burning solid fuels and household waste