London Air Quality (AQI) and Air Pollution

London Air Quality – Live London, United Kingdom AQI and PM2.5 Readings

London PM2.5 air quality averaged 9.7 micrograms in 2022. This means London PM2.5 concentrations exceeded the WHO annual limit of 5.0 micrograms by a little under 2 times. On the most polluted day, London air quality exceeded the recommended limit by a little under 11 times.

Current Air Quality in London

Air Quality Map

Live London, United Kingdom AQI air quality map updated hourly.

How is the Air Quality in London, United Kingdom?

60% of Days in London More Polluted Than WHO Target

During 2022, 60% of days exceeded the WHO annual limit. 40% of days fell within the safe limit of 5 micrograms. That means outdoor air in London was considered safe for just 2 in 5 days during 2022.

The most polluted day in 2022 was March 26, 2022, where PM2.5 concentrations were as high as 55.0 micrograms. On this day, PM2.5 pollution exceeded the recommended limit by a little under 11 times.

London PM2.5 Concentrations: 2023 – Year to Date

So far in 2023, London’s PM2.5 concentrations have averaged 12.4 micrograms. That’s 28% higher than the previous year.

Is London Air Quality Improving?

Historical air quality (AQI) data for London over the past 4 years (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) shows that air quality has improved by 22% over the past 4 years. Looking at just the past year, from 2021 to 2022, PM2.5 concentrations improved by 18%.

Thursday is the Most Polluted Day of the Week in London

Thursdays are the most polluted day of the week in London. PM2.5 levels on an average Thursday reach 12.2 micrograms. That’s 9% higher than the least polluted day – Monday. On Monday, PM2.5 air pollution averages 11.2 micrograms.

On average, Thursdays see PM2.5 pollution that’s over 2 times the WHO limit. For Mondays – the least polluted day – PM2.5 air pollution is over 2 times.

Why Is London Air Quality Bad Today?

Weather plays a big role in how London air quality is each day. Heat and sunlight help create ozone. That’s why ozone pollution is higher during the day and during hotter months. Studies show rain can reduce PM2.5 air pollution a little, but strong winds usually reduce PM2.5 much more.

Research has found that PM2.5 around the world follows a daily pattern. Of course, any particular day can be an exception. However, across continents, PM2.5 pollution tends to be worse from 8pm to 2am, with another bad spike around morning rush hour. PM2.5 is the lowest around 4pm, when air tends to mix higher in the atmosphere.

Air Quality Around the World

London Air Pollution: The Negative Health Effects

Size of PM2.5 and PM10 particles compared to human hair

This analysis of London’s air quality is based on PM2.5 pollution. These are particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.

Many people know that air pollution causes lung cancer and asthma. But fewer people know that air pollution kills far more people through our hearts and blood vessels.

Studies have shown that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.

WATCH: Why Is PM2.5 So Harmful to Us?

5 Things You Should Know about PM2.5 Air Pollution

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Protect Your Health in London From Air Pollution

Despite the harms of PM2.5 air pollution, studies of air purifiers have found that removing particulate in the home lowers blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and improves immune response.

Smart Air provides the world’s most cost-effective, data-backed air purifiers to help air-breathers protect themselves and their family. Smart Air is a certified B Corp founded to share the simple science behind air purifiers and masks, thereby lowering the cost of breathing clean air.

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