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Tell me more > Air quality objectives 

UK air quality objectives are defined by the Air Quality Strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The aim was to "to ensure a less polluted environment both now and for future generations, whether as businesses or as individuals".

The objectives were implemented in law by the The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2007 and are summarised below:

Air Quality Objectives for England for the protection of human health, July 2007
Pollutant Air Quality Objective To be achieved by
Concentration Measured as
Benzene 16.25 µg m-3 Running annual mean 31 December 2003
  5.00 µg m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2010
1,3-Butadiene 2.25 µg m-3 Running annual mean 31 December 2003
Carbon Monoxide 10.0 mg m-3 Maximum daily running 8-hour mean 31 December 2003
Lead 0.5 µg m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2004
  0.25 µg m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2008
Nitrogen Dioxide 200 µg m-3 not to be exceeded more than 18 times a year 1-hour mean 31 December 2005
  40 µg m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2005
Particles (PM10) (gravimetric) 50 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year Daily mean 31 December 2004
  40 µg m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2004
Sulphur dioxide 350 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 24 times a year 1-hour mean 31 December 2004
  125 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 3 times a year 24-hour mean 31 December 2004
  266 µg m-3, not to be exceeded more than 35 times a year 15-minute mean 31 December 2005
New Objectives or not included in the July 2007 Regulations
Particles (PM2.5) (gravimetric)   25 µg m-3 (target) Annual mean 2020
  15% cut in urban background exposure Annual mean 2010 - 2020
PAH  0.25 ng m-3 Annual mean 31 December 2010
Ozone 100 µg m-3 not to be exceeded more than 10 times a year 8 hourly running or hourly mean* 31 December 2005

You can download a spreadsheet of historical data (1995 to 2008) to see whether Greater Manchester has been reaching its objectives.

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