According to the Council Directive (92/72/EEC) on air pollution by ozone, exceedances of the threshold values for population information and warning, as set in the Directive, must be reported to the Commission within one month after occurrence.

This report presents a first evaluation of the observed exceedances of the thresholds during summer 1996 (April-July). Information on the occurrence of exceedances has been received from all 15 EU Member States.

The threshold for warning of the public (1h > 360 µg/m3) was exceeded at three stations during summer 1996; at two stations in Athens (Greece) on 21 May 1996 and at one station in Firenze (Florence, Italy) on 13 July 1996. The threshold for information of the public (1h > 180 µg/m3) has been exceeded in all Member States with the exception of Ireland. The number of days on which at least one exceedance was observed ranged from one in Denmark to 41 in France. 48% of all stations reported one or more exceedance.

The number of stations which reported an exceedance, the number of exceedances at those stations and maximum concentrations during episodes this year were lower then during the 1995 summer season. This difference can mainly be attributed to year-to-year weather variability.

A initial estimate was made of the percentage of the urban population which was exposed to at least one exceedance of the population information threshold. From all the cities in which at least one monitoring station was operational, 44% (142 cities) reported one or more exceedances. 31 million people (46% of the population in cities with monitors operational) may have been exposed to these exceedances.



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