News story

Air Quality Information Bulletin

A high pressure system persisting over the UK has brought warm and still conditions today (7 May 2018), resulting in increased levels of ground ozone.

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The following site has exceeded the EU ozone public information threshold of 180 µg/m3:

  • Bournemouth: µg/m3 – 16:00 BST

Public Health England advises that some people are more sensitive to ozone than others and may begin to notice an effect on their breathing. People with asthma are not necessarily more sensitive but, if affected, can use their ‘reliever’ inhaler to alleviate symptoms.

If affected, people are urged to take sensible precautions. In particular, avoiding exercise outdoors in the afternoon can reduce individual exposure to ozone.

If the legal threshold for ozone is again breached, further alerts will be issued on our website.

Forecasts, latest measurements and health advice are available on UK Air and via Defra’s freephone helpline (0800 556677). Updates on current and forecast levels of air pollution can also be found on Twitter (@DefraUKAir).

Further information:

  • Ground level ozone is not emitted from any man-made sources in any significant quantities. It is formed when sunlight acts on nitrogen dioxide and other atmospheric substances close to the ground. The pollutants that cause ground level ozone come from a range of sources, including petrol and other fuels
  • This alert has been triggered by a forecast of a HIGH level of ozone where significant health effects may be noticed by sensitive individuals, and action to avoid or reduce these effects may be needed. The EU Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) requires member states to provide information to the public when this level is reached
  • Details of the Air Quality Index which classifies pollution as Low, Moderate, High, or Very High and gives health advice
  • Information on the health effects of air pollution from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP)
Published 7 May 2018