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What should I do?

What are the Issues?

What should I do concerning air pollution?

The Issue Wiltshire College
Solvent vapours from products containing Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs; they will use this term on the label and in product literature if a product contains VOCs) cause local air pollution, promote ozone production and can trigger asthma. They are also greenhouse gases. These might be found in paints, solvents, photographic chemicals, beauty products and others.
Damaging the ozone layer causes excessive ultra violet light to reach the Earth, causing skin cancer, damage to agriculture and to marine life. Ozone depleting chemicals may still be found in old fridges (the coolant, and gases within the insulation, may damage the ozone layer).

Ozone depleting chemicals (although banned by law) may still be found in old stores. In particular look for substances labelled as containing '1.1.1 trichloroethane'.
Burning of plastics, rubbers, PVC and other materials releases phosgene, dioxins, furans and other toxic (potentially carcinogenic) substances.

Smell and smoke from bonfires are nuisances to people.
No burning of man-made materials is permitted on Wiltshire College sites.
Vehicle exhausts can contain benzene that causes Leukaemia (from petrol engines), or particulates ('PM10') that cause breathing difficulties and possibly lung cancer (from diesel engines). Motor vehicle workshops have to run vehicles for extended periods during test phases, and manoeuvring vehicles around workshops.
Lead fume and dust can affect the central nervous system on absorption via the lungs or skin. Lead is used in plumbing workshops, including lead welding activities.

Control measures

Products containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Disposal of fridges

Ozone depleting substances

Burning of waste

Vehicle Exhausts


Teaching resources

Contact the College Environmental Co-ordinator, who is collating teaching resources.

Further Information

Please contact the College Environmental Co-ordinator for further advice. You may also find the following websites helpful: