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Bristol to monitor air quality in Avonmouth

City council will begin monitoring dust levels around Avonmouth port in response to concerns from local residents about wood and metal dust

Bristol city council will begin monitoring air quality at a site in Avonmouth next week in response to concerns raised by local residents about wood and metal dust emissions from the port.

Starting from Monday (August 18), the council’s Environmental Health team will commence a three-month air quality monitoring operation at a site in Avonmouth on the Severn Estuary, a shipping port where various industrial operations take place.

Avonmouth (copyright Bristol Port Authority)

Avonmouth (copyright Bristol Port Authority)

In addition, the Environment Agency has also separately started monitoring air quality in another part of the docks. The Agency said it has also set up a mobile monitoring device with the aim of locating possible sources of any dust found.

The council’s monitoring comes in response to residents’ concerns about levels of dust at Avonmouth, with a petition on the city council website calling for continuous monitoring of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and nano particles in the area.

It calls for the results of this testing to be made publicly available, adding that this data “must lead to a permanent Air Quality Monitoring Areaâ€?.

The petition, which has 41 signatories so far, states: “We the undersigned are concerned about the presence and expansion of a number of industries known to be hazardous to human health in Avonmouth, particularly (but not limited to) wood dust from biomass processing, metal dust and vehicle emissions.â€?

A spokesman for Bristol city council said: “Bristol city council takes very seriously the concerns that have been raised by residents. We can confirm that the Environmental Health team from Bristol city council will begin monitoring for dust at a site in Avonmouth commencing the week August 18.

“The operation will run for three months after which the results will be analysed. The Environment Agency have already started a separate monitoring operation in another part of the docks.

“Both Bristol city council and the Environment Agency are working closely during the monitoring process.â€?

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