Air Quality and Social Deprivation in the UK

This 2006 report by DEFRA found inequalities in air quality based on IMD score for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with deprived areas in these countries having higher concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and sulphur dioxide. However it noted that for nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter the distribution was largely explained by high urban concentrations by road transport sources and the urban nature of deprived areas.

As IMD includes an air quality indicator which could create bias, DEFRA “used a revised IMD, in which these domains have been excluded… each domain score rank had an exponential transformation applied… with each value re-weighted based on new weightings that compensate for the removed Living Environment domain.”

screenshot-uk-air.defra.gov.uk 2015-09-02 10-00-48Interestingly according to the study the association with deprivation was somewhat reversed in Wales as the least deprived areas had higher concentrations of these traffic related pollutants – the study suggests this is due to the more rural nature of Welsh deprivation.

 

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