The Project

This project focuses on air pollution in Sheffield by using various maps and data charts to show which areas are prone to the most pollution.

What is pollution?

In simple words, pollution is the when the environment is contaminated by waste, harmful chemicals/particles. The two types of pollution particulates we will be concentrating on are PM2.5 and PM10. So, what exactly is PM? PM stands for “Particulate Matter” and it is a term used to describe solid and liquid particulates in the air. To group these particulates, we have a number after the “PM”. For example, particulates in the PM2.5 group must have a diameter below 2.5 µm.

PM₂.₅PM₁₀
Combustion ParticlesDust
Organic CompoundsPollen
MetalsMould

Why are we so worried about PM₁₀ & PM₂.₅?

As you can see in the diagram below, PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants are extremely small meaning they can easily be inhaled and there could be some deposits throughout the airways. Due to these deposits, we usually see an increased number of hospital admissions for heart/lung issues where these pollutants are in abundance. Research shows older adults with chronic heart or lung disease are most likely to experience health problems when exposed to PM10 and PM2.5. However, this isn’t the only group of individuals who are at risk from these pollutants. Children and infants are also greatly at risk as they inhale more air per pound of body weight than adults do and spend more time outdoors whilst having a weaker immune system when compared to a healthy adult.

Infographic comparing the size of PM2.5 & PM10 particles to a 50-70 micrometer diamter human hairInfographic of the UK stating the estimated annual death rate cause by man-made air pollution at 28 to 36 thousand deathsInfographic displaying a heart, pair of lungs, inhaler and brain to show the preventable issued cause by air pollutionInfographic of a colour-coded pie chart showing the sources of PM2.

To learn more about air pollution, you can follow the latest government guidance here