Glasgow trends

Particulate Matter (PM10) concentration at Glasgow monitoring sites, 2000 - 2022
(PM10: particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter)
PM10 Glasgow 2000 2022Click to expand

The chart above shows trends in the annual mean concentration of PM10 in the air at various monitoring stations across Glasgow since 2000.  These measurements can be compared to the Air Quality Strategy (AQS) objective of PM10 concentrations not exceeding 18μg/m3.  A small number of sites have breached the objective in recent years but the overall trends in measurements appears to be downward. There was a notable reduction in PM10 concentrations in 2020 folowed by a rise again in 2021. This is likely to be at least partly attributable to the reduction in traffic during the early phases of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was followed by traffic levels returning almost to pre-pandemic levels in 2021.


Current evidence suggests that there is no safe level of particulate matter in terms of human health effects. PM10 is among the most harmful of all air pollutants. When inhaled these particles evade the respiratory system's natural defences and lodge deep in the lungs.

Health problems begin as the body reacts to these foreign particles. PM10 can increase the number and severity of asthma attacks, cause or aggravate bronchitis and other lung diseases, and reduce the body's ability to fight infections.

The Air Quality in Scotland site provides up-to-date estimates of air quality from monitoring sites across Scotland.

The Scottish Government's air quality policy: Cleaner Air for Scotland 2 - Towards a Better Place for Everyone

A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into force in Glasgow City Centre on 1 June 2023. This means all vehicles entering the city centre zone need to meet specific pollution emission standards or face a penalty charge. There are further details on the Glasgow LEZ in this blog.

This page was updated in July 2023.

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