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Air Quality - Air Pollutant Emissions

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: Monday, October 9, 2017

Index of Scottish air pollutant emissions

The quality of Scotland's air has improved considerably over the last few decades. However air pollution is still estimated to reduce the life expectancy of every person in the UK by an average of 7-8 months (AQS, 2007). A number of policies are currently in place in an attempt to improve air quality, including the air quality strategy for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Due to variation in exposure across the UK, attributable life lost in Scotland associated with PM2.5 is likely to be less (averaging 3-4 months), compared to England and Wales (6-7 months) and for the UK as a whole (Health Protection Scotland, 2014).

Over the long term there have been reductions in emissions for all the pollutants in the inventory.  Between 1990 and 2015, there have been decreases of 10% for ammonia, 63% per cent for PM10, 66% for NMVOCs , 71% for nitrogen oxides (NOx), 83% for carbon monoxide, 92% for sulphur dioxide and 99% for lead.

Air Pollutant Emissions 1990 to 2015

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Source: National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

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