Nottingham has the highest pollution out of the nine English cities named by the World Health Organisation for breaking safety guidelines.
Compared to many of the world’s cities, England’s urban pollution in these areas are still quite low, but rising car traffic, domestic heating and industry has combined to increase these levels.
Post-industrial cities such as Leeds and Nottingham are on the list because of the large amount of traffic that runs through them on a daily basis.
The WHO Report covers data from the period of 2008 to 2013 and represents air quality by the annual mean concentration of particulate matter.
Earlier this year, a health and safety warning had to be given to asthmatics informing them of the poor air quality. They were advised not to exercise and to avoid spending long periods of time outside, if possible.
Dr Timothy Wright is a chemist from the University of Nottingham. He says cars are the main cause of dangerous pollution levels.
Nottingham City Council have been working hard on improving the city’s transport infrastructure, with lengthened tramlines and electric buses.
They have said they are ‘surprised to see Nottingham named in this list after the multi-million pound investments made into public transport in recent years.’
The council said that only figures from the years 2008/09 were used for Nottingham as Defra was upgrading its monitoring equipment during the WHO report investigation.