Plan made to tackle health risk from air pollution in Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 14:11 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:11 24 September 2018

Air pollution levels are high in Comet Way and Hatfield Business Park. Picture: Google Street View

Air pollution levels are high in Comet Way and Hatfield Business Park. Picture: Google Street View


The air quality in Hatfield is being closely monitored following concerns that high levels of pollution pose a risk to public health.

According to the borough council’s air quality monitoring results for 2017, an area within the vicinity of Comet Way and Hatfield Business Park exceeds the limit value for levels of pollutants. Long-term exposure to everyday air pollutants contributes to the development of cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and respiratory diseases.

The council’s environment overview and scrutiny committee notified the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), who did not deem the level of pollution in the Business Park severe enough to declare an air quality management area. DEFRA instructed the council to monitor the location for a further three years and pay close attention to the results.

The committee’s report stated: “At present we will continue to monitor air quality under our existing arrangements and therefore there are currently no additional financial implications.

“We have received a growth bid to install a new roadside automatic air quality analyser. The intention is to locate this in the area that is currently breaching the limit value. This analyser will provide us with more accurate results than the currently located diffusion tubes.

“We have the budget that will fund the installation of the analyser and running costs for two years. Future running costs will need to be considered.”

If the results over the next few years show a continued poor air quality in the area, the council will need to invest money in additional monitoring, extra staff resources and producing a detailed report for DEFRA.

The report said: “The health risks of exposure to poor air quality are very serious. The public health and protection team have increased our air quality monitoring network over the last few years but this work needs to continue.

“The result of previous years monitoring indicates that we have an area with poor air quality levels in the borough and this needs to be carefully managed as well as ensuring the other locations are regularly monitored.”

The council will now go through a process to purchase the new roadside air quality analyser.

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