Cornwall Air Quality Forum

Below are a few common questions relating to air quality issues in Cornwall, if you have any further questions then please contact the CAQF.

Who are the CAQF?

The CAQF is a knowledge transfer partnership between Cornwall County Council; Carrick, Kerrier, Penwith and North Cornwall District Councils; Restormel Borough Council and The Air Quality Unit at Cornwall College who manage the CAQF. The CAQF includes Environmental Health Officers, Traffic and Town Planners and academic staff. This mix of expertise allows a broad approach to tackling air quality issues within Cornwall.

What is air quality like in Cornwall?

Air quality in Cornwall is generally very good. However, congestion in Cornwall’s towns, particularly in narrow streets known as ‘canyon streets’, often causes pollution concentrations to exceed Government air quality objectives. Other factors that impact air quality in Cornwall include extractive industries and continental air masses.

What are the health implications of poor air quality?

The traffic-related pollutants of particular concern are nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. At high concentrations nitrogen dioxide can cause general eye and respiratory irritation and shortness of breath. Particulate matter is potentially more damaging and even at low concentrations and exposure periods can have adverse health implications such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

What is being done about air quality issues in Cornwall?

It is the obligation of local authorities to monitor air quality and this has been ongoing for over 10 years. Where pollution hotspots are identified a LA must declare an Air Quality Management Area and produce an Action Plan stating what steps they will take to improve air quality.

Glossary of terms – click on the links to find out more

CAQF – Cornwall Air Quality Forum

NAQS – National Air Quality Strategy

PM – Particualte Matter

NO2 – Nitrogen dioxide

SO2 – Sulpher dioxide

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