Heathrow Airport: Exhaust Emissions

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Vice-Chair (Youth), Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mean annual concentration was of (a) nitrous oxides, (b) nitrogen dioxide, (c) concentrations of particulates (PM10), (d) ozone, (e) carbon monoxide, (f) sulphur dioxide and (g) carbon dioxide recorded by monitoring stations in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport in each year from 2000 to 2009.

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick Jim Fitzpatrick Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Farming and the Environment)

Air pollutants are monitored throughout the UK via the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN). Information on the AURN can be found on the Air Quality website at:

www.airquality.co.uk

Available data on the mean annual concentration of pollutants around Heathrow are given in the following table.

Concentrations of CO2 are not subject to air quality monitoring-it is not an air quality pollutant and, therefore, not routinely monitored to identify small-scale variations in concentrations. Trends in background concentrations of CO2 are measured at Mace Head Research Station on the west coast of Ireland in order to monitor long-term trends in this important greenhouse gas.

Monitoring station and pollutant monitored
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Hillingdon SO2 microgrammes m(-3) 10 9 7 8 3 3 2 2 - -
Harlington CO mg. m(-3) - - - - 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3 - -
Hillingdon CO Mg. m(-3) 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.4 - -
Harlington NO microgrammes m(-3) - - - - 22 22 18 26 19 21
Hillingdon NO microgrammes m(-3) 61 49 44 50 43 40 38 39 39 41
Harlington NO2 microgrammes m(-3) - - - - 38 38 37 37 35 36
Hillingdon NO2 microgrammes m(-3) 48 46 45 54 47 45 49 45 51 54
Harlington NOx microgrammes m(-3) - - - - 72 72 65 77 64 68
Hillingdon NOx microgrammes m(-3) 141 121 113 129 112 106 107 105 111 116
Harlington O3 microgrammes m(-3) - - - - 33 32 37 32 35 35
Hillingdon O3 microgrammes m(-3) 22 26 26 28 27 26 28 30 31 26
Harlington PM10 microgrammes m(-3) - - - - 26 25 27 25 24 16
Hillingdon PM10 microgrammes m(-3) 25 26 25 30 27 27 29 26 - -
Notes: 1. SO2: Data capture 72 per cent. in 2007. Data capture > 75 per cent. in all other cases. 2. CO: Data capture 17 per cent. for London Harlington in 2008, 69 per cent. for London Hillingdon in 2007. Data capture > 75 per cent. in all other cases. 3. PM10: Data capture 73 per cent. for London Harlington in 2009, data capture > 75 per cent. in all other cases, 2000-08 data are TEOM measurements x 1.3 for conversion to indicative gravimetric equivalent. 2009 Harlington data are FDMS-TEOM (April onwards). 4. Due to re-structuring of the AURN in 2007 we do not have data for Hillingdon carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and PM10 in 2008 and 2009. Harlington was established as a new AURN site in 2004. Glossary: SO2:Sulphur dioxide, an acid gas formed by the oxidation of sulphur impurities in fuel during combustion processes. CO: Carbon monoxide, a gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels. In urban areas the predominant source is traffic. PM10: Particulate matter, particles with a diameter of less than 10 microgrammes m-3. PM10 comes from a variety of natural and man-made sources such as sea salt and Saharan dust, and combustion processes. NOx: Oxides of nitrogen consisting of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). NO is a product of combustion processes, it reacts with ozone or oxygen to produce NO2. O3: Ozone, a highly reactive oxidising agent that has a range of health and material impacts. A natural background level of ozone exists. Ozone is not directly emitted and man-made sources result from a series of reactions in the atmosphere. CO2: Carbon dioxide is a gas that is produced from the combustion of carbon containing fuels.

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