backheadlines          back issues         Contact & Home Page

A unique subscription-only newsletter for those working in UK ambient air quality

Virus update: We will cotninue as normal. If you need your paper copy redirected or encrypted pdfs please email me


May 2020  Headlines       Issue 169

Virus (continued!)

Most readers are working from home due to the current virus lockdown, do email us if you wish your copy of AQB to be sent to your home address, or for a temporary period, to receive electronic copies.
We thank you for your continued support at this difficult time.

Clean air plans delayed

Clean air zones will be delayed until after January 2021 due to the virus – despite a court order to introduce them “as soon as possible”.

Highways £100m ring fencing abolished

Highways England’s embarrassment at being unable to spend a promised £100m on air quality over the last five years will be eased with the announcement that the ring-fenced fund has been abolished.

Aqeg assesses Covid evidence

The Air Quality Expert Group (Aqeg) last month put out a rushed call for evidence on air quality and Covid virus. While there are positive impacts on air quality from the lockdown, there are increasing amounts of suspect conclusions from studies being reported on the ability of particles to carry viruses.

Kings switches to Imperial

The Environmental Research Group (ERG) at King’s College London is to move to the new Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Research Hub at Imperial College London’s White City campus.

Cut indoor exposure

The C40 grouping of cities has urged the public to avoid burning candles, incense or wood fires and open windows to reduce the health risk from indoor air pollution.

Monitors show fall

Alphasense Ltd, a UK manufacturer of sensors (10,000 a week), says customers are noting falls in air quality: “Our air quality sensors are built into the monitoring instruments manufactured by hundreds of companies spread all over the world, and they tell us that their equipment is reporting similar improvements in air quality since the start of the Covid pandemic.

NO2 worsens Covid

NO2 may be linked to virus deaths, say researchers.

Natural capital requirements

A natural capital committee report has strong advice on government to avoid silo working. Natural capital valuation is being mooted as away of reaching net zero carbon by 2050 with obvious implications for air quality

Members warned on spreading ‘misinformation’

IAQM members have been warned not to spread misinformation about the virus.

Welsh appointment

Claire Holman was appointed the Chair of the Welsh Government’s Air Quality Direction Independent Review Panel in March.

Bradford confounded by smoke

Bradford Council has been criticised over delays investigating smoke from a neighbour’s chimney.

China smog returns

The European Environment Bureau has posted a series of excellent animations showing how air pollution is returning to China since its lockdown was eased.

Politicised particles

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its proposal to retain, without changes, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) including both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particles (PM10).

Covid guidance for LAQM activities

The local air quality management helpdesk has provided advice for how to continue local air quality management duties while Covid restrictions are in place.

London air quality improves

A formal analysis – framed as a response to Aqeg’s call for evidence (see p1) – has set out changes in air quality in London due to the Covid shutdown.

Scotland PM rise

The Scottish Air Quality Database carried out back- trajectory analysis to explain why fine particles rose in recent times despite drastically reduced local activity.

After Covid

“The enjoyment people are getting from this low t

ULEZ keeps clocking up reductions

A ten month progress report has shown yet more emission reductions resulting from the central London ultra low emission zone. Experience of the ULEZ in London is being watched by authorities outside of London who are supposed to produce clean air zones.

Clean air zones delayed

The virus has prompted a directive that clean air zones are delayed until at least January next year. What is happening around the UK asks Jack Pease

Clientearth call

Clientearth has been formally told of the clean air zone delay. Having won its court order on NO2, Government is in effect answering to Clientearth.

School filtering unpicked

Before the virus, a detailed study reported on the impact of mechanical filtering in London schools. We take a deeper look as there is much to learn.