Monitoring Environmental Performance
Level 5
Unit 3
Monitoring Air Pollution

Monitoring and improving air quality

(CO,CO2 and black smoke)

Under the Clean Air Act 1993, Dark smoke is: any smoke that seems to be at least as dark as shade number two on the Ringelmann Chart. Black smoke under the Dark Smoke (Permitted Periods) Regulations 1958 as smoke that appears to be at least as dark as shade number four on the Ringlemann Chart. Dark smoke is prohibited by the Act from industrial and domestic chimneys and from open burning on trade or industrial sites.

EPA 90 also provides for smoke emission controls. Part III gives local authorities or individuals powers to take action against statutory nuisances that exist or are lilkely to occur, and those which are prejudicial to health:

  • Smoke emissions from all premises and gases or fumes from domestic properties
  • Dust, steam smell or any other effluvia occurring on industrial, trade or business sites

Sources of black smoke, CO and CO2 emissions

Black smoke: produced by the combustion of carbonaceous materials such as fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas), and wood. CO2 is the main product of this type of combustion. Incomplete combustion, arising from low temperatures or minimal oxygen will produce CO.

Other processes causing CO2 emissions: fermentation (baking and brewing for example) and biodegradation processes in landfills.