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Air Quality in West Dorset

Air quality across West Dorset is reviewed annually against the National Air Quality Standards set by the Government. You can view the annual reports from the latest round of review and assessment below.

Current levels of air quality in West Dorset

The latest Annual Status Report 2017 shows that air quality across the district is generally good, however, there are two areas in Bridport and Chideock where the annual mean objective for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is exceeded. This is due to road traffic emissions.  

The report identifies that two air quality management areas (AQMAs) have already been declared, in Chideock along the A35 and Dorchester along High East Street, and action plans have been produced to improve the air quality here. In Chideock monitoring has shown that the only areas with exceedances are on the south side of the A35 going out of the village towards Lyme Regis.  East Road, Bridport has also shown exceeded levels of NO2, however, at present there is no intention to declare an AQMA, although this will be reviewed following consultation.

Radon in West Dorset

A few parts of West Dorset are in a 'radon affected area', where a small sample shows that more than 1 per cent of homes are estimated to have levels of radon at or above the action level.

Radon is a natural, odourless, radioactive gas which enters buildings from the ground where it is formed from the minute amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils.

Radon levels indoors depend on the concentration of radon in the ground, the structure of the house, and the way it is heated and ventilated. Levels can vary widely between apparently identical houses and localities. The only way you can find out whether there is a high level in your house is to have it measured.

Indoor radon is said to be the second most important cause of lung cancer after smoking. Although levels in most homes are low, the action level of 200 Becquerels per cubic metre is exceeded in some homes in West Dorset. At this level householders are recommended to act to reduce radon levels.

Advice for homeowners

The Health Protection Agency website has information about radon in the home and details of their radon measurement services.

More information is available from the Radon - UK websitewhich is run by the British Geological Survey and the Health Protection Agency. 

The Health Protection Agency has a radon helpline on 01235 822622 or emailradon@hpa.org.uk.

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