Environment

European Air Quality Index to show up-to-date quality of air

EEA Air QUality INdex

Photo: EEA

Published

November 24, 2017

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Published:

November 24, 2017

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Since The European Environment Agency (EEA)  launched the European Air Quality Index, this online feature allows users to learn and understand more about air quality where they live and work, to check the air quality in any given moment, and to make informed decisions about their environment.

This feature displays online up-to-the-minute data for the whole Europe and from more than 2,000 monitoring stations. The website with an interactive map shows concentration of harmful pollutants like particulate matters 2.5 and 10, ground-level ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and etc.

The air quality database, as EEA explained, consists of a multi-annual time series of air quality measurement data and calculated statistics for a number of air pollutants. It also contains meta-information on the monitoring networks involved, their stations and measurements.

The European Air Quality Index is accessible to everyone. It is an easy way for citizens to obtain information on the local air quality when needed, and it is also an important tool for decision-makers on both local and national level.

As a society, we should not accept the cost of air pollution. It is encouraging to see that many European governments and specifically cities are showing leadership in protecting people’s health by improving air quality. Clean air belongs to everyone

Even though emissions of many air pollutants in Europe have decreased over last couple of decades, their concentration is still high, the EEA’s “Air quality in Europe — 2017 report” stated.

The data from the analysis shows that air quality in Europe is slowly improving, but it also shows that poor air quality has considerable economic impacts, increasing medical costs, reducing workers’ productivity, and damaging soil, crops, forests, lakes and rivers.

This year’s report confirms that most people in European cities are exposed to poor air quality but it also puts special focus on agriculture for the first time. The conclusion is that agriculture is also an important emitter of air pollutants and greenhouse gases.

The European Air Quality Index was presented at the Clean Air Forum, organised by the European Commission, in Paris, in mid-November. Up-to-date air quality data could be found here.

“As a society, we should not accept the cost of air pollution. It is encouraging to see that many European governments and specifically cities are showing leadership in protecting people’s health by improving air quality. Clean air belongs to everyone”, said Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director, while presenting the new database.

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