We undertake monitoring of air quality across the city using 'diffusion tubes' and 'real-time monitoring equipment'. The latest results are available in our Annual Status Report.
Where we find levels of pollution above health-based standards, we will declare Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and draw up Air Quality Action Plans (AQAPs) to improve air quality, in consultation with residents, businesses and other key stakeholders.
You can also view the current air quality in York.
Nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes
Our nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes monitor air quality at over 230 locations in the city.
These low-cost monitoring devices are mounted on lamp posts and properties around the city and sent to a laboratory for analysis monthly.
Diffusion tubes are used to estimate the annual average levels of nitrogen dioxide at different locations around the city. The results are then compared with health-based objectives.
Real-time monitoring of air quality
Real-time monitoring of air quality is undertaken at 9 sites across York where concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulates are measured on a minute-by-minute basis and compared with health-based objectives.
Results from our real-time monitoring around the city are shown on the Air Quality England website. This site includes a daily 'Air Quality Index' (AQI) value which indicates how polluted the air currently is, or how polluted it is forecast to become, similar to the sun index or pollen index. Information about the Air Quality Index and recommended health advice for specific bandings can be found on the DEFRA website.
Specific air pollution forecasts for York, for the next 5 days, are available on DEFRA UK-Air. The forecasts are provided to allow you to plan ahead and where relevant, take the recommended action to reduce the effects of air pollution.