Caring for Marlborough's Air
In Blenheim, urban air quality is degraded on some days during the winter months. Poor air quality can seriously affect our health. Air pollution particularly affects our heart and lungs, and can cause cancer.
As well as premature deaths, air pollution is known to cause sickness and hospitalisation. Air pollution particularly affects people with heart disease, respiratory disease, asthma and bronchitis.
Monitoring shows that the worst pollution occurs on calm, cold, winter days when contaminants are trapped close to the ground by an inversion layer.
Fine Particles (PM10)
PM10 are tiny particles suspended in the air that are invisible to the human eye. PM10 are particles less than 10 microns in diameter, which is about a fifth the size of a human hair. These particles can affect health, especially in the young or old, asthmatics and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Fine particles can increase hospital admissions, school absences, lost work days and restricted activity days.
PM10 comes from the burning of fuels such as coal, wood, diesel and petrol. A few industrial processes also produce particulate matter.