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Air Pollution: Health Hazards

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to monitor the possible health implications of the emission of PM2.5 particles from (a) incinerators and (b) other industrial processes. (158238)

The Department does not monitor the possible health implications of the emission of PM2.5 particles from incinerators or industrial processes directly on an ongoing basis. This is not possible as any health effects of PM2.5 particles cannot be diagnosed as specific to PM2.5.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) currently monitors ambient concentrations of PM2.5 in a small number of locations around the United Kingdom. Monitoring has also taken place until recently at the steel works at Port Talbot. This data is available from the National Air Quality Information Archive website at www.airquality.co.uk

DEFRA does undertake more extensive monitoring of PM10 with which PM2.5 is closely correlated. PM10 is part of the Air Quality Information System. This system classifies air pollution concentrations according to the likely short-term effects on health.