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Air quality

The Clean Air Act 1993, covers areas ranging from smoke emissions and the height of chimneys to the content and composition of motor fuels.

London’s Air Quality has improved dramatically since the 1950’s, however air pollution is still an issue today and poor air quality can affect health and everyday quality of life. 

The London Borough of Havering is responsible for the air quality management of the borough, the monitoring of local air quality, the preparation of action plans and the production of annual air quality reports. 

Air pollution in Havering

Currently the main source of pollution in Havering is road traffic vehicle emissions; however significant amounts are also generated from residential and commercial gas use, industry, construction sites and emissions from outside London.

The borough was declared an air quality management area on 11 September 2006 due to levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) not meeting air quality objectives in many parts of the borough. The air quality management area covers the whole of the London Borough of Havering.

Report issues with air quality to us

Our noise, smells, smoke and dust page will tell you how to alert us to air quality issues such as dust and smoke.

Report dust and smoke issues

Air quality monitoring

Currently the air quality in Havering is measured via two automatic air quality monitoring stations located at Waterloo Road, Romford and the A1306 New Road, Rainham.

These stations take hourly readings of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5). Data for these stations can be downloaded from the London Air Website.

In additional to these we currently monitor monthly Nitrogen Dioxide levels at thirty eight locations across the borough via sixty diffusion tubes. Data for these locations can be downloaded from the LAQM DEFRA website.

Air quality and health

The quality of the air we breathe can have a significant impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

For the majority of us, air pollution is just something our bodies deal with. However, on days when the level of air pollution is high, even if you’re generally fit and healthy, maybe you’ve noticed your eyes getting watery, coughing or sneezing.

Smoke Control Area

The London Borough of Havering is a 100 per cent Smoke Control Area, and those using solid fuel must therefore ensure that they use an authorised smokeless fuel and/or exempt appliance.

The burning of wood and coal in an open fireplace is not permitted. Smoke Control Areas only restrict domestic burning and do not cover bonfires or the burning of waste.

Information on fuels and appliances can be found at the Solid Fuel Association or Defra websites.

Defra have also produced leaflets giving advice on reducing the impact of open fires and wood burning stoves and how to get the most from your stove or open fire.

Low Emission Zone

Havering is part of the Mayor of London's Low Emission Zone, which means certain vehicles may not be allowed to travel in the borough. For more information please visit the Transport for London Low Emission Zone webpage.

Non Road Mobile Machinery Low Emission Zone (NRMM)

NRMM contributes a significant amount to London’s poor air quality (the London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI) estimated that in 2010 NRMM was responsible for 12 per cent of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and 15 per cent of PM10 emissions in Greater London).

In order to address this problem, Havering is now part of the NRMM Low Emission Zone, which from 1 September 2015 will restrict the type of NRMM used on construction sites within the borough.

Cycling in Havering

For more information please visit our target your trip pages.

Air Text

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Air quality annual status report and action plan

Read the latest action plan and annual status report

See also

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