25% of UK homes sit in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution - here's how to check the levels near you

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 12:07 pm
Dangerous levels of pollution were discovered outside around 8 million UK households (Photo: Shutterstock)

A new nationwide study has revealed that a quarter of UK homes sit in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution.

The study - commissioned by The Central Office of Public Interest (COPI) and carried out by researchers at Imperial College London - discovered that the air outside the doors of almost eight million homes in the UK exceeds one or more of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommended limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) or particulate matter.

Scientists who conducted the study divided the UK into 20m-by-20m squares and fed emissions data into computer models to produce the most detailed analysis of pollution levels in the UK to date.

COPI has said that estate agents may be breaking the law when failing to inform buyers that air outside their home exceeds WHO recommendations, and has launched a new air pollution rating system to offer an air quality report for every UK address.

Find out how polluted the air is outside your home

To find out how polluted the air outside your home is, you can access the tool at this link.

Here, you can input your postcode and the tool will give you a report on the levels of three different kinds of air pollutant outside your home: larger particles called PM10, NO2 (a gas usually produced by diesel vehicles), and fine particles known as PM2.5.

You'll be given an overall pollution rating from one to five - five being the highest level of pollution - which will indicate whether the air where you live falls above or below WHO recommended limits.

Off the back of the findings, Humphrey Milles, founder of COPI, has called on property websites and estate agents to include pollution ratings in the information they provide around homes.

Rightmove, the UK’s biggest property portal, is now weighing up including such ratings alongside listings.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, told The Times: “It’s great that this national dataset is now available. It sounds like it could be a major step forward in the provision of air quality information and it’s something we’ll review alongside a number of other datasets.”