the place to be
Thursday July 9th 2020

Nutfield Conservation Society AGM plus talk on Air Quality

Saturday 1 June

Nutfield Village Hall – Mid St

10.30am – actions on local environment issues

followed by:


Air pollution is made up of different pollutants which affect your health.

Here are some pollutants that can have significant impact:

  • Particulate matter: A type of air pollution that you cannot see or smell. It can come from vehicle exhaust fumes and bits from worn brake pads. Small particulate matter (PM2.5) can get into your lungs and blood stream.
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2): Gases generated by vehicles, or by chemical reactions in the air.
  • Ozone: This gas is formed when other pollutants react in the atmosphere.

Surely my child is better protected from poor air quality in the car?

Unfortunately not. The most recent research shows that exposure to air pollutants may be higher inside vehicles, even with the windows shut, than pedestrians and cyclists on the same streets. Also, when travelling by car, you don’t get the health benefits that you would from walking or cycling.

What is the situation in Surrey?

There are areas in Surrey that have a high level of air pollution, which is more that the government’s recommended level for certain pollutants. We know this because local authorities, like Surrey County Council and the District and Borough Councils, have a duty to monitor the air quality and to check if it above the government’s recommended limit. The pollutants that are monitored are large particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen dioxide. The source of both these pollutants in Surrey is road traffic.

The areas that do exceed this level are known as an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) – there are 26 AQMAs in Surrey. Once an AQMA is declared, an Air Quality Action Plan has to be produced. The plan is produced in consultation with Surrey County Council and the highways authority, and will identify steps which can be implemented to try and improve the Air Quality within the AQMA.

What steps can I take to improve air quality for me and my family?

We can all do our bit to improve air quality. Any reduction in pollution will lead to improvements in health.

Here are just a few ways that could make a difference:

  • Leave the car at home where possible
  • Walk, scoot or cycle – it’s great to get you and your family active too
  • Park further away from school or work and walk part of the journey
  • Turn your engine off when waiting in the car – it will help you save money on fuel too!

If you or a family member suffers from a respiratory condition, you may be more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.