Toxic air pollution from vehicle exhausts is worsening at five busy streets in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, according to the latest official monitoring.
Average levels of nitrogen dioxide gas have shot up on the Byres Road in Glasgow from 45 to 54 microgrammes per cubic metre between 2013 and the first half of this year. Over the same period levels have also increased at Hope Street in the city centre, at Queensferry Road in Edinburgh and on two streets in Dundee.
There are another seven streets across Scotland where nitrogen dioxide pollution breaches the legal safety limit of 40 microgrammes per cubic metre. At two sites the concentrations have stayed the same, at four places they have dropped and at one site it’s unclear (see table below).
Nitrogen dioxide belched out by cars, lorries and buses irritates lungs and lowers resistance to respiratory infections, particularly amongst children. It causes particular problems for people with asthma.