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Air pollution and your health

Air pollution

Poor air quality can have a detrimental effect on our health. Atmospheric pollutants can cause a range of health effects which range from the minor, such as eye irritation, to the more serious, such as impairment of breathing. Pollutants are present not only in the air we breathe when we are outside, but also the air we breathe within our own homes. 

Potential health effects of air pollution

There are three important air pollutants which are routinely monitored by Environmental Health because of their potential to cause adverse health effects: 

​Pollutant ​Source ​Health effects
​Particulate matter (PM)
  • ​vehicle emissions (particularly diesel)
  • industrial and domestic emissions
  • windswept dust
  • salt
  • sand

​Can harm respiratory and cardiovascular systems and is linked to asthma and increased mortality.


Fine particles with a diameter of ten microns and smaller (PM10) can be inhaled deep into soft lung tissue.

​Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) ​Products of combustion from vehicles and both industrial and domestic sources.  Can also interact in sunlight to create low level ozone

​Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) causes inflammation of the airways at high concentrations.


These gases irritate the airways of the lungs, increasing the symptoms of those suffering from lung diseases, including asthmatics.

​Hydrocarbons ​A variety of volatile organic chemicals that are used in fuels and some industrial processes. They also contribute to the formation of low-level ozone. ​At low concentrations are unlikely to pose a health risk, but long-term exposure can cause a wide variety of potential health effects ranging from irritation through to cardiovascular and central nervous system damage and cancer​.

Air quality monitoring

The Environmental Health Service monitors air pollutants at a number of sites around the Island. You can find more information and results of air quality monitoring on the page below.

Air quality monitoring

Jersey Crematorium emissions monitoring report 2015​​

In 2015, a report was carried out at the crematorium. It confirmed that the crematorium meets internationally accepted standards.

Jersey Crematorium emissions monitoring report 2015​

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