UK Air Quality Index to be Updated for First Time in 12 Years

08.02.12

The Committee of the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) was asked by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Devolved Administrations to reevaluate the current Air Quality Index in order to guarantee consistency with the latest advances in the field of air quality. This will be the first serious modification to the index in 12 years. The new index will be based on the guidelines provided by COMEAP in their ‘Review of the UK Air Quality Index’ from June 2011.

Modifications to the Index

The following changes have been implemented from 1st January 2012:

  • The Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) will include additional health advice for different sectors of the population, especially for susceptible individuals.
  • The current index bands will be made more rigorous for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3).
  • The interpretation of the index will be made more straightforward.
  • Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) will be included and carbon monoxide (CO) will be dropped from the DAQI.
  • Trigger values will be added to allow for the prediction of episodes of elevated air pollution in real time.

How REC Can Help

Air pollution can have significant effects on human health, as shown by the recent changes to the DAQI. Our specialist air quality consultants have significant experience in the monitoring and assessment of ambient pollution levels to ensure population exposure is limited as far as possible. This can include air quality assessments using dispersion modelling to predict concentrations, or stack emissions testing to fully quantify atmospheric releases. Our comprehensive experience means that we can provide tailored solutions to any air quality issue you may be facing.

Further information can be found at:

REC Air Quality

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