Air quality and pollution

The Clean Air Act 1956 means all of Harrow has become a "smoke control area". This means that all fuel used in your home must be "smokeless" such as gas, electricity, oil or coke-type fuel.

Reporting poor air quality or pollution

To report air pollution such as odour, smoke and dust you will need:

  • information on the type of pollution you wish to report on
  • details of the address or area affected
  • any photos if applicable and safe to do so

Begin report


It is illegal to emit smoke from your chimney by burning wood, ordinary coal, etc. However, this piece of law does not apply to outdoor bonfires.

Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows the Local Authority to take action possibly resulting in legal proceedings if a bonfire causes a nuisance to neighbours (i.e. have an unreasonable effect on enjoyment of their home or garden).

We do not recommend any garden bonfires, however, if you do have one it should consist of dry woody garden waste only, and consideration must be shown for neighbours, and not be on a regular basis. For more information you can download the domestic bonfires fact sheet.


For a daily forecast on the air quality in the UK, please visit London Air Quality Network website or the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website.

Do you have heart or breathing problems?

Air pollution can harm your health. People with asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease and angina are more at risk from high levels of air pollution.

There is a free service called 'airTEXT' which can give advance warning of elevated pollution levels.

You can sign up for the service by:

  • visiting the website www.airtext.info
  • texting AIRTEXT to 78070*
  • or by following the instructions on their leaflet.