Interactive map reveals air quality in St Helens

An interactive map shows how polluted the air in different parts of Merseyside is.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:17 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:22 pm
An interactive map shows how polluted the air in different parts of Merseyside is.

While it may not be something we think about regularly, air pollution can cause risks to people’s health.

In the UK, a recent report indicated some six million people over the age of 65 are at high risk of breathing difficulties and having asthma attacks due to living in highly polluted areas.

The report, from Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, found more than half (59 percent) of people in England aged 65 and over are living in areas where harmful particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) is dangerously high, which could be damaging their lungs.

Air quality enthusiasts Plume say they are “on a mission to make air quality information accessible and empowering”.

They have developed an Air Quality Index (AQI) which takes into account the number of different harmful pollutants in the area where you live.

Its air pollution data comes from King’s College London, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

When air pollution levels become high or very high, people are advised to stay indoors and/or avoid doing physical exercise.

Here’s what the numbers mean:

0-20 Low Pollution

The air is clear—perfect for outdoor activities.

21-50 Moderate Pollution

Air quality is considered acceptable This means that, unless you have these kinds of conditions all year round, you shouldn’t be experiencing adverse health effects. However, there may be certain health concerns for people with specific sensitivities.

51-100 High Pollution

The air is highly polluted—above twenty-four-hour exposure recommendations from the World Health Organisation. Those with sensitivities should take care when performing outdoor activities.

101+ Very High Pollution and above

Everyone may start to experience more serious health effects at these levels, and long term exposure constitutes a real health risk. Levels have exceeded the recommended WHO exposure threshold for one hour.

In certain regions, or during exceptional pollution peaks, you may experience higher levels of pollution over 200 or even 300. These warnings constitute emergency conditions.

Find out the current air quality of your street at