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Air Quality and Health

There is a growing body of evidence of how environmental factors, and particularly road-traffic related air pollution, affect health.  Some of the most recent studies focus on the effects of small particulates which penetrate to the lungs and their adverse effects on cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke.  Other studies have highlighted the disproportionate burden of environmental degradation, particularly air quality and noise, on deprived communities, with consequent impacts on increasing social deprivation. 

Read East End Quality of Life's literature review (or the summary) for more information.

Since March 2013, we have published monthly updates of research into the health impacts of air quality and noise. You can subscribe to receive our monthly updates and you can view past copies here:

To find out about air quality in a particular neighbourhood of Sheffield, look at the community monitoring of nitrogen dioxide being co-ordinated by East End Quality of Life Initiative.

Active Travel

Sustrans is the UK's leading sustainable transport charity. Their vision is a world in which people can choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment. They work on practical, innovative ways of dealing with the transport challenges that affect everyone.



is a partnership between the four South Yorkshire local authorities and South Yorkshire Travelwise. Care4Air aims to highlight what is happening in the region on air quality issues. In particular Care4Air aims to provide individuals, organisations, schools and businesses with information that will enable them to do their bit for air quality. Care4Air also promotes good practice and rewards those going that extra mile to help protect and improve air quality in South Yorkshire with the Care4Air Award scheme.


Sheffield Clean Air Partnership

Formed to address the issue of air quality in Sheffield and has been involved in the Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) process in the city. More information from the Sheffield Clean Air Partnership website.


Air pollution articles in the local and national press

The Telegraph 1 December 2009 Failure to cut air pollution will cost the taxpayer and kill 36,000

The Star 14 October 2008 Bus company First South Yorkshire has won an award from Care4Air for improving South Yorkshire's air quality.

The Star 04 August 2008 National charity Asthma UK presents council with award for improving air quality and helping asthma sufferers.

The Star 19 February 2008 Levels of potentially deadly pollution in Sheffield have soared during the last two weeks, The Star can reveal. The dry, still weather has caused pollution levels in the east and centre of the city to increase to more than eight times the Government's daily average target.

The Star 25 June 2007 Urgent action is being called for to tackle the health threat from diesel engines - with high levels of dangerous pollutants found in Sheffield's air.

The Star 15 September 2006 Pollution is so bad near the M1, South Yorkshire schools may have to move to save pupils from the bad air and noise.

The Star 29 July 2006 Levels of potentially deadly pollution in South Yorkshire have soared during the heatwave, The Star can reveal. Nitrogen dioxide, which has been linked to increases in breathing problems and heart disease, has doubled in parts of the county. The dangerous levels, which have peaked way above the Government guidelines, have been blamed on the hot, still air which has sat across the UK for the past few weeks.

The Star 15 November 2005 More than one in 10 stroke deaths in Sheffield could be caused by breathing in traffic fumes, a study has warned.

The Star 9 March 2005 A huge housing development to be built in a Sheffield suburb could push air pollution in parts of the city to killer levels, a community campaigner fears.

The Star 18 November 2004 A campaigning group is calling for action to tackle Sheffield's air pollution - after a study linked high levels of fumes to an increase in heart attacks.

The Star 30 August 2004 Experts say pollution from vehicles at peak traffic times in Tinsley is so bad that pollution inhaled by pedestrians is equivalent to virtually chain-smoking.

The Star 20 February 2004 A successful project monitoring air quality in one of Sheffield's most polluted suburbs is being extended to other suburbs.

The Star 14 January 2004 People living in the most deprived parts of Sheffield are hit worst by the effects of pollution, environmental campaigners claimed today.

The Star 15 September 2003 Residents in two South Yorkshire communities could be at serious risk from pollution levels due to the M1, a new survey has revealed. Tinsley and Brinsworth are said to be unlikely to meet new government targets on pollution levels due to be introduced in 2005.


Follow this link to see air pollution in Sheffield
Green Spaces and Health Newsletter

An occasional update on research into the health effects of access to green spaces and exercise. You can subscribe to receive updates automatically and you can view past copies here: 

Environment and Health

The natural environment plays an important part in promoting and maintaining health and well-being. The Sustainable Development Commissions's Healthy Futures programme helps the NHS maximise its contribution to the health of individuals, communities and the environment.

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

HEAL is an international non-governmental organisation advocating greater protection of the environment as a means to improve the health and well-being of European citizens. The HEAL website disseminates information on climate change and health related issues, mainly related to policy in the EU.

Sheffield First for Environment

This partnership is responsible for overseeing Sheffield’s approach to achieving environment excellence, and developing and implementing the Environment Strategy. The Environment Board was established in April 2003 following the launch of the draft environment strategy and the conclusion of a citywide membership recruitment process, which attracted members from the voluntary, community and private sectors.  Neil Parry, East End Quality of Life Initiative's Project Co-ordinator, is on the Environment Board. 

The purpose of the Partnership Board is to champion environmental issues in Sheffield through demonstrating leadership on the strategy and integrated working with other partnerships at the local, regional, national and international level. 

Their Vision is to establish Sheffield as a city whose built and natural environments are distinctive and of high quality, where the city's environmental assets are recognised for their direct contribution to the city's economic success and the well-being of its citizens; a city in which citizens enjoy and respect those environments and where, given its size, the city contributes positively to the regional, national and global environment. 

For more information, contact Rachel Wileman on 0114 273 5390.


Environment and Health Audit

East End Quality of Life Initiative worked with Sheffield's Environmental Strategy team to produce Environment and Health Audits of Tinsley (in 1999 - not available electronically) and Darnall (2001). A summary is also available.

Help shape the future of the River Don

Discussion group dates  

Tuesday 9th September 12.30 - 1.30 pm Swinton Library

Tuesday 9th September 3.30 - 4.30 pm Doncaster Central Library

Thursday 18th September 2.30 - 3.30 pm Mowbray Gardens Library, Rotherham


If you would like to take part please contact Hellen Hornby on 07769 505 959 for further information.

Tinsley Tree Project

TTP was formed by residents of Tinsley in 1999.  Its aim was to address concerns about the levels of air and noise pollution within the local area, working in close partnership with Tinsley Forum and helping to implement a Community Action Plan for the area.  In its first 3 years, it provided training for 12 people, and planted around 50,000 trees.  From 2002 to 2006, the project, working with Tinsley Forum and local residents, successfully secured support from the Objective 1 Programme Directorate to undertake environmental action within the local area, working as part of a Community Action Plan. For more information, contact the Tinsley Tree Project on 07775 852667.

Darnall Green Spaces Regeneration Project

Based in Darnall's High Hazels Park, the Darnall Green Spaces Regeneration Team actively promotes community use of local green spaces, co-ordinates events and activities in the area, and seeks funding to continue their work.  Current sites include High Hazels Park and 70 Acre Hill, Darnall Community Park, Phillimore Park, and Kettlebridge Doorstep Green.

Five Weirs Walk

The Five Weirs Walk is an 8km path from Sheffield City Centre to Meadowhall along the banks of the River Don. It connects to the Sheffield and Tinsley canal towpath, the Upper Don Walk, the riverside path to Rotherham and the Trans Pennine Trail. Five Weirs is ideal for walkers, cyclists, anglers, canoeists and those fascinated by the rich history of the lower Don Valley. It is accessible to disabled users. Sheffield's River Stewardship Company is an innovative Social Enterprise to protect and improve the waterside environment in Sheffield, with a particular remit for the Five Weirs Walk area - to register as a volunteer, contact the RSC on 0114 290 1251.  You can contact the Five Weirs Walk Trust c/o Bell & Buxton, Telepgraph House, High St, Sheffield 1.