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Birmingham University Clean Air Study, football venues, climate action, sustainability, grass roots sports clubs, air quality.

Birmingham County FA recently partnered with WM-Air to analyse across the region where poor air quality could impact on football venues.


The findings concluded that: 

Approximately 50%  of all registered Home Grounds and 55% of Training Grounds in the County are in locations which exceed WHO health-based air quality guidelines for annual PM2.5 concentrations.

Using WM-Air modelled air quality data we estimate that approximately half of the Weds Midlands population  live in locations which exceed WHO health-based air quality guidelines for annual PM2.5 concentrations.


Health Effects of PM: Inhalation of particulate pollution can have adverse health impacts, and there is understood to be no safe threshold below which no adverse effects would be anticipated. The biggest impact of particulate air pollution on public health is understood to be from long-term exposure to PM2.5, which increases the age-specific mortality risk, particularly from cardiovascular causes. Several plausible mechanisms for this effect on mortality have been proposed, although it is not yet clear which is the most important.


Exposure to high concentrations of PM (e.g., during short-term pollution episodes) can also exacerbate lung and heart conditions, significantly affecting quality of life, and increase deaths and hospital admissions. Children, the elderly and those with predisposed respiratory and cardiovascular disease, are known to be more susceptible to the health impacts from air pollution (source:

To read the full report, please click here

The data from the report has also been plotted as a kml file onto a Google map, along with air quality information for all football locations for you to view. 

The locations have been ranked in terms of the air quality in the corresponding 1 km2 DEFRA dataset, and the estimated NO2 and PM2.5 annual mean concentrations can be viewed by clicking on each location:



Birmingham County FA plan to work closely with WM-Air on more in depth research over the coming months to help better understand the health impacts poor air quality have on football participants and also provide tangible solutions that football can adopt to help reduce harmful emissions.

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