Air quality monitoring for particulate matter (PM10) has been carried out by SEPA at sites in Culross and Valleyfield since 5th May.
On the afternoon of 5th May, the monitor at the Valleyfield site recorded a period of increased particulate matter levels for a few hours, during which there were short term peaks exceeding 100 µgm-3 lasting minutes at a time. These were very short lived and transient and the levels of particulate matter remained below the daily (24 hour) average Air Quality Standard (Scotland) of 50 µgm-3, which is set to protect human health.
On average over the whole period monitored, including the period of elevated levels on the 5th May, the levels of particulate matter have remained below the daily (24 hour) Air Quality Standard (Scotland) of 50 µgm-3, which is set to protect human health. Comparison with other fixed air monitoring sites elsewhere in the country also shows that the average levels detected at the two test locations were in line with background levels of particulates elsewhere.
Comparing the levels with those used in the (DEFRA) Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI), the average levels of particulates detected in the air fit within the “low” pollution level banding. The low banding for the DAQI has an accompanying health message of “enjoy your usual outdoor activities”.
Therefore, based on the results of the air monitoring carried out by SEPA, the risk to health posed by particulate material in the air around Valleyfield and Culross over the period, is unlikely to have been significantly greater than for the rest of the country.