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Schools Diffusion Tube Programme

Dudley Council has been monitoring air pollution for many years. Many of the traditional pollution problems associated with smoke from burning coal and emissions from factories have now been brought under control and the major problems we face nowadays are caused by traffic congestion. The council is monitoring the most problematic pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, at more than 75 locations across the Borough, and a number of schools have taken part in its monitoring programme. Nitrogen dioxide is measured with the use of diffusion tubes which are left exposed in the test environment for one month periods.

How diffusion tubes are used

The tube is exposed with the uncapped end facing downwards. Pollutant in the air travel upwards and are trapped using a chemical gauze placed within the capped end of the tube. The diffusion tubes are exposed for one month, after which time, the tube is sent away for testing.

Host Schools

A number of schools in the borough were hosts to diffusion tubes. Children at the host schools were invited to participate in the tube changing process and the tubes were sent away for testing by an external laboratory. The results are made available for incorporation into science and environmental lessons to help raise awareness of any pollution problems and the actions we can take to improve air quality.

Schools that took part with the diffusion tube programme included:

  • Christ Church Primary in Coseley

  • Northfield Road Primary

  • Amblecote Primary
  • Brier Special School

  • Red Hall Primary

Teaching Resources

A number of teaching resources have been developed to assist teachers at schools involved with the sampling tube monitoring programme. The aim is to provide schools with some feedback about the air pollution readings, in many cases using data collected by the children. Teachers can focus on:

1. Environmental or health issues using the key facts sheet.

2. Manipulation of collected data using Excel

3. Problems to be overcome in presenting statistics

Both resources are available to download from the Related Documents section at the bottom of this page.

We want you to become a Host School!

Any Dudley Council schools wishing to have a diffusion tube to measure pollution for the programme can register their interest by contacting us as per the details below.

Useful links