Air quality in Newham

One in seven of Newham’s population are exposed to levels of Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) that is above the UK limit value for human health. On average, Newham residents are also exposed to a level of airborne particulate matter (PM2.5) that is 35% greater than the World Health Organisation guidelines. Poor air quality in the borough kills 96 residents every year.
To protect and improve human health and the environment, improving air quality in the borough has become our primary focus.

What the council is doing?

It is our statutory duty to regulate air quality throughout the borough, from sources such as:

  • Industrial processes
  • Planning & development
  • Transport infrastructure
  • Energy and heating
  • Domestic wood burning. 

We work to improve air quality under the regulation below:

  • We permit industrial facilities under the Environmental Permitting Regulations with regular inspections to ensure compliance with permit conditions.
  • We report and act upon pollution above national air quality objectives under the Environment Act by analysing our network of monitors.
  • We investigate bonfires and dark smoke nuisances under the Environmental Protection Act.
  • We place air quality conditions on planning applications under the Planning Act and work with developers to achieve ‘air quality neutral’ buildings/transport, and negotiate solutions to mitigate pollution sources and exposure when applicable.

Monitoring and local data on air quality

We currently deploy one of the largest networks of air quality monitors in the country, which is crucial in understanding emissions concentrations. Having this data helps us to make decisions and employ technology, innovative and creative solutions to clean up dirty air in the borough through initiatives and projects in public health, transport, industry, planning and development.

Newham’s Network of Air Quality Monitors

Automatic monitoring stations: our two automatic stations check the air quality all year round. They check for monitor sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, ozone, fine particles and carbon monoxide.

Manually operated nitrogen dioxide diffusion tubes:  a tube is placed outside each school and additional16 sites which check nitrogen dioxide.

Checks on dust: we have five sites which record the amount and type of dust in the air. And we also use a hand-held device for spot checks on the amount of dust. 

Explore the map below for a summary of the boroughs air quality network with the annual rolling average air quality level at each monitor. All data collected is ratified, bias adjusted and annualised where necessary.

Local air quality data resources

Report dust, smoke or other nuisances

For complaints about odour from large industry:


If you think you smell gas, call The National Grid immediately on 0800 111 999

Report air pollution (currenlty unavailable)