A Sociological Perspective on Air Quality Monitoring in Teesside
This chapter examines the changing character of pollution monitoring data in Teesside. The Clean Air Act which followed the devastating city smog's of the early 1950s led to the beginnings of a national framework for monitoring air quality. Coal combustion was the primary concern. Today, measurement of the contribution industrial emissions make to air pollution in Teesside can be most easily inferred from comparison of pollutant ratios. For the technological sophistication of monitoring introduced in Teesside in the present decade has accompanied and assisted increasing concern with road traffic pollution, reflecting national priorities. It has not accompanied or assisted comparable interest in industrial emissions. While poor air quality in past is associated with domestic coal-burning, poor air quality in the present is associated with traffic exhaust fumes, imported pollution from Europe, and even Guy Fawkes night. The history of monitoring in Teesside should not be divorced from its place within the wider context of pollution control and environmental debate locally.