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Information Service

Index and Bands

In the UK most air pollution information services use the index and banding system approved by the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollution EpisodesThis link opens in a new window (COMEAP). The system uses 1-10 index divided into four bands to provide more detail about air pollution levels in a simple way, similar to the sun index or pollen index.

  • 1-3 (Low)
  • 4-6 (Moderate)
  • 7-9 (High)
  • 10 (Very High)

The overall air pollution index for a site or region is calculated from the highest concentration of five pollutants:

  • Nitrogen Dioxide
  • Sulphur Dioxide
  • Ozone
  • PM2.5 Particles
  • Particles < 10µm (PM10)

Air Pollution Forecasts

Air Quality Forecasts are issued on a regional basis for three different area types:

  • In towns and cities near busy roads
  • Elsewhere in towns and cities
  • In rural areas

Forecasts are based on the prediction of air pollution index for the worst-case of the five pollutants listed above, for each region.