Atmospheric pollution is the release of a harmful chemical or material into the atmosphere. The consequences can be devastating - carbon dioxide, for example, is one of the major causes of climate change, while nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide combine to form harmful acid rain. Not all pollution is directly man-made, however, such as the release of ammonia from livestock. Ammonia is toxic to many aquatic animals and can lead to soil acidification and smog.

Atmospheric pollution is also harmful to human health. It has driven cancer to be the main cause of death in China, the poster country for smog, and more than half of Americans are breathing unacceptable standards of air. In the UK alone it is thought that air pollution causes  29,000 deaths every year.

CEH work on atmospheric pollution


Monitoring Sites

Research Facilities

Mark Sutton presenting at Parliament
CEH's Professor Mark Sutton acts as expert witness to Parliament
Ganges river, India
Outputs of December 2015 Science Workshop
2 surveyors on the GMEP monitoring project
Evaluating Wales' natural resources and the Glastir sustainable land management scheme
riverside vegetation
Managing colour levels in drinking water
UNECE International Cooperative Programme on Effects of Air Pollution on Natural Vegetation and Crops
Putting diesel into a car
Urban emissions of air pollutants
Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme logo
Long-term monitoring of contaminant levels in selected species of predatory birds
ECN Moor House in the North Pennines
Long-term multi-parameter monitoring to understand causes and consequences of environmental change