GOVERNMENT figures show the levels of air pollution in the Maldon district are just under the safe limit recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The readings are measured in tiny particles called PM2.5 which measure about three per cent of the diameter of a human air and can lodge in the lungs and pass into the bloodstream, damaging to blood vessels and organs.

They come mostly from traffic fumes, industrial emissions, wood burners, livestock manure, dust and sea salt.

Figures from Defra show the average concentration of particles in Maldon was 9.7 microgrammes per cubic metre in 2018 and 2019 – below the UK limit of 25, but close to the WHO guideline limit of 10.

Across the East of England, the level of PM2.5 was at 10.3 in 2019, and 10.2 in 2018.

The particle level readings in Maldon fell from 2011, when it was 11.9.

A government spokesman said: “We know there is more to do as we build back greener from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Through our landmark Environment Bill we have committed to a new concentration target on PM2.5 - the most damaging pollutant to human health - and as part of this we will be considering the WHO’s guidelines for PM2.5.”

Maldon District Council has pledged to tackle pollution by signing the Air Quality Action Plan 2020-2025 last year.