Fears growing over car pollution in Wales

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Professor Julian Hopkin of Swansea University says there is a link between poor health and pollution

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There are growing concerns that air pollution from cars is damaging health in Wales.

Two traffic hotspots in Swansea have been designated Air Quality Management Areas because pollution in the air exceeds safe levels.

Experts say it is not just a problem in Swansea as all councils in Wales must monitor air quality to ensure it remains within national targets.

If a target is breached a council has 12 months to develop an action plan.

Swansea council is now monitoring three Air Quality Management Areas. In all, there are 32 areas in Wales being monitored.

The two new areas in Swansea are central Sketty and along Carmarthen Road in Fforestfach. Hafod was already designated.

Start Quote

Symptoms associated with asthma, such as cough and wheeze, rise when these levels of pollution rise”

End Quote Professor Julian Hopkin Swansea University's school of medicine

The city's pollution control officer Huw Morgan said: "All council in the UK have to assess their area for air quality.

"We do a lot of testing in Swansea with over 200 sites being measured at the moment.

"That's quite expensive but it's probably the most important environmental health issue around in the UK at the moment."

Action plans to reduce pollution look at improved traffic management, planning and parking rules.

Professor Julian Hopkin of Swansea University's school of medicine said there was a link between poor health and pollution.

"Symptoms associated with asthma, such as cough and wheeze, rise when these levels of pollution rise," he added.

"In the same way there's an association - less strong - between sharp increases in pollution and increased episodes of heart disease."

AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT AREAS WALES

Source: Defra

COUNTY

AREA

Rhondda Cynon Taff

Tonteg - Church Village (A473)

Aberdare Town Centre

Broadway Town Centre

Cilfynydd

Mwyndy

Nantgarw

Pontypridd

Tylorstown

Ferndale

Mountain Ash

Llwynypia

Nightingales Bush

Cymmer

Cardiff

Newport Road

Cardiff West

The Philog

St Mary Street

Neath Port Talbot

An area covering the majority of land and properties between the Corus Steel Works and the M4 Motorway

Newport

Glasllwch

Shaftesbury/Crindau

St Julians

Malpas Road

Caerleon Road

Royal Oak Hill

Caerleon High Street

Caerphilly

Caerphilly town centre

Monmouthshire

Usk town centre

Chepstow town centre

Powys

Newtown Road

Swansea

central Sketty

Carmarthen Road, Fforestfach.

Hafod

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