Case study

ET supported Gloucestershire County Council

ET conducted an air pollutant study for Gloucestershire County Council to gauge levels of NO2, PM10 and O3 near schools.

Overview

ET conducted a study for Gloucestershire County Council that involved monitoring NO2, PM10 and O3 levels around schools. The study investigated air pollution around 7 Gloucestershire schools, focusing on nitrogen dioxide, PM10, and ozone. Results showed that PM10 and ozone varied day-to-day, linked to pollution episodes and weather, while nitrogen dioxide had spatial variability tied to traffic. NO2 levels were found to be significantly higher during term time relative to half term at 3 of the 5 schools monitored, but no clear trend was observed for PM10 or O3 due to specific pollution events and variable weather conditions.

The study

The primary objectives of this study were twofold, firstly, to determine the spatial distribution of air pollutants (particularly nitrogen dioxide, PM10, and ozone) around 7 schools in Gloucestershire, and secondly, to compare the relative levels of air pollution during half-term and during term time. For each school, the pollutant data measured during the morning traffic peak at half term and term time were compared, in order to establish the impact of the school run on the local pollution levels.

Findings determined the concentrations of PM10 and O3 tended to vary more from day to day rather than place to place, mainly due to a particulate pollution episode around this time, and variable weather conditions affecting the ozone levels. In contrast, NO2 showed a large degree of spatial variability quite clearly associated with higher volumes of vehicle traffic. 

In general, the NO2 levels directly outside the schools during term time were noticeably higher than during half term, but no obvious trend was seen for PM10 or O3, due to the particulate pollution episode and variable weather conditions.

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