In the air quality directive (2008/EC/50), the EU has set two limit values for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for the protection of human health: the NO2 hourly mean value may not exceed 200 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) more than 18 times in a year and the NO2 annual mean value may not exceed 40 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3). These limit values come into force for concentrations measured from 1.1.2010 so during 2009 a margin of tolerance equal to an annual mean value of 42 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) is still in place
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On very hot days use public transport rather than your car.
Car exhaust emissions react with sunlight and heat to cause polluting gases such as tropospheric ozone. This is the main ingredient of poor air quality and photo-chemical smog, which can cause breathing difficulties. To find out the level of ozone pollution across Europe, go to EEA's Live Ozone Map.
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