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You are here: Home / Environmental topics / Air pollution / Air quality levels in Europe / Interactive maps and data / How to read unvalidated air quality map

How to read unvalidated air quality map

This page explains the air quality categories used in the map which are based on both health and legislative aspects.

These explanations refer to the unvalidated air quality map

The five categories can broadly be described as:
•    Very good (green) and good (yellow) represent healthy air quality levels with a low health risk.
•    Moderate air quality can broadly be described as: “Mild effects, unlikely to require action, may occur in sensitive individuals. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases should consider reducing exposure by limiting prolonged outdoor activities”.
•    Bad (or poor) air quality represents an exceedance of EU Limit Value for NO2, SO2, PM10, PM2.5 and CO and an exceedance of an EU Information Threshold for O3. This level can broadly be described as: “Significant effects, such as breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, stinging of the eyes or throat may occur in sensitive individuals. Effects possible in children and adults who are active outdoors. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases should reduce exposure by avoiding prolonged outdoor activities. Everyone should limit prolonged outdoor activities”.
•    Very bad (or very poor) air quality represents an exceedance of the EU Alert Threshold for O3 and possible exceedances of the EU Alert Threshold for NO2 and SO2. Very bad air quality could be broadly described as: “Increasingly severe effects, such as breathing difficulty, tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, stinging of the eyes or throat may occur in sensitive individuals and in children and adults who are active outdoors. People with asthma or other respiratory diseases, children and the elderly are recommended to stay indoors. Everyone should avoid prolonged outdoor activities”.

This image shows the table of air quality categories levels. * Orange numbers represent exceedances of the Information Threshold * Red numbers represent exceedances of the Limit Value * Maroon numbers represent exceedances of the Alert Threshold

  • Orange numbers represent exceedances of the Information Threshold
  • Red numbers represent exceedances of the Limit Value
  • Maroon numbers represent exceedances of the Alert Threshold

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Europe
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100