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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

In both developed and rapidly industrialising countries, the major historic air pollution problem has typically been high levels of smoke and sulphur dioxide arising from the combustion of sulphur containing fossil fuels such as coal for domestic and industrial purpose.

The major threat to clean air is now posed by traffic emissions. Petrol and diesel-engined motor vehicles emit a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulates (PM10), which have an increasing impact on urban air quality.

Monitoring stations

There are currently three monitoring stations located within Dudley Borough which are used for monitoring a range of pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), fine particulates (PM10) and very fine particulates (PM2.5).

These are located in Central Dudley at St James’s Road (an urban background site) and Colley Gate (Cradley) and Wordsley (High Street) both roadside sites. Further details of the air quality stations can be downloaded from the section at the foot of this page.

Additional weather monitoring stations are also located in Central Dudley and Colley Gate.
There are references to an air quality monitoring station at Burn Tree, this station has now been decommissioned.

Central Dudley Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) (PDF 99.29KB)

Colley Gate Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) (PDF 219.96KB)

Burnt Tree Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) (PDF 0.95MB)

Wordsley Air Quality Monitoring Station (AQMS) (PDF 1.04MB)

Daily air quality report

As part of its duty to monitor the quality of the air in Dudley, we continuously monitor, and records as 15 minute averages, the levels of a range of common pollutants at its automatic monitoring stations.

  • Concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Fine Particles (PM10 ) are monitored at Central Dudley (urban background) and Colley Gate (roadside)
  • Concentrations of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) are measured at Wordsley (Roadside)

 Levels of these pollutants may be presented in terms of “Bandings” (Low, Medium, High or Very High), with “indices” (1 to 10) indicating the level within each band. High or very high levels can affect the elderly, asthmatic or very young. A full explanation is also available online.

Up to date information on Air Quality including the current index are available from the UK National Air Quality Information Archive.

Annual Status Reports

As part of its duty to monitor the quality of the air in Dudley Metropolitan Borough, the council continuously monitors, and records as 15 minute averages, the levels of a range of common pollutants at its automatic monitoring stations.

Diffusion tubes

We use Diffusion Tubes in order to measure levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) within the area.  They are relatively cheap, easy to use, don’t require any power supply and can give a good indication of air pollution levels.

The low cost allows many of them to be used, so a picture can be built up across a large area. Non-professionals such as environmental campaigners and schools are also using them because the tubes require only limited attention and are easy to operate.

Measuring Nitrogen Dioxide Using Diffusion Tubes

Under the provisions of the 1995 Environmental Act, all local authorities in England and Wales are required to assess air quality against a set of national targets for seven key pollutants. Some locations, exclusively next to very busy roads, particularly at junctions and where there are inclines on the highway and buildings close to the kerb, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) may exceed the national objective.

Environmental Protection has identified these specific locations and undertakes routine monitoring for concentrations of nitrogen dioxide at the locations.

What are diffusion tubes?

The tubes are small and made of plastic with a cap at each end. Inside the top end of the tube is a metal disc coated with a substance that reacts with nitrogen dioxide to form a new chemical which remains trapped on the tube. The tube is placed vertically in a holder, usually attached to something like a lamppost or drainpipe, and the bottom cap is removed allowing air to diffuse into the tube.

The diffusion tube is left at the site with the bottom cap removed for a month. After this time the tube has the cap replaced and is taken to a laboratory for analysis. Each tube then provides an average concentration of nitrogen dioxide for that month. The monthly results are then averaged over 12 months to give an annual mean.

Air quality monitoring in schools

A number of schools are now assisting the council in its monitoring programme, with diffusion tubes located on their premises. Each month we ask the participating schools to take readings from the diffusion tubes and the data collected forms part of our reporting on air quality in the borough.

Your school can take part too! If you are interested in joining our team of schools, please follow the link below.

:: more on Diffusion Tubes in Schools

Diffusion tube interactive map

An interactive map showing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Diffusion Tubes diffusion tube locations and annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations is now available for you to view online.

The map is an interactive geographical information system which allows you to view and inspect map-based information for the Dudley area. Tools are provided to allow you to zoom and pan around the map, and ‘point and click’ to view information about features on the map.

Online interactive diffusion tube map

An interactive map showing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Diffusion Tubes diffusion tube locations and annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations is now available for you to view online.

The map is an interactive geographical information system which allows you to view and inspect map-based information for the Dudley area. Tools are provided to allow you to zoom and pan around the map, and ‘point and click’ to view information about features on the map.