• Traffic, air pollution and health

    The increase in vehicles and kilometres driven by individual vehicles has led to a substantial rise in transport related air pollution in urban areas, even though there has been substantial reductions in emissions from individual new vehicles

    In 1996 the European Community adopted the Framework Directive on Ambient Air Quality Assessment and Management. This directive provides the framework for the setting of air quality standards and the creation of a comprehensive monitoring network for the twelve targeted pollutants. Individual daughter directives will set the limit valuesfor each pollutant and exact details of how each should be monitored; the first daughter directives covering lead, nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide should be adopted by the end of 1997 with a directive on ozone following shortly afterwards.

    This legislation will provide environmental groups with a powerful tool for the improvement of air quality. This publication aims to put into context the role of traffic in reducing air quality, the negative effects that this reduced air quality is having on ourhealth and the way in which these new daughter directives can be used to put pressure on authorities to improve air quality.