What are the Air Quality legislation and guidance?



The World Health Organisation publishes Air Quality Guidelines based on certain pollutants health effects and are there to aid policy makers. The European Union developed their Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) Directives (Directives 2008/50/EC and 2004/107/EC) considering the WHO Guideline figures and the situation in Europe at the time. For some pollutants, they mirror each other exactly (NO2 & CO) whereas for others the WHO guidelines are tighter than EU regulation (SO2, O3 and PM)

Pollutant

Air Quality Guidelines (WHO, 2005)

EU Standards (Directive 2008/50/EC)

no. of EU exceedances allowed in a year

PM2.5

10 µg /m3 annual mean

25 µg /m3 24-hour mean

25 µg /m3 annual mean

 

-

-

PM10

20 µg /m3 annual mean

50 µg /m3 24-hour mean

40 µg /m3 annual mean

50 µg /m3 24-hour mean

-

35

O3

100 µg /m3 8-hour mean

120 µg /m3 8-hour mean

25 averaged over 3 years

NO2

40 µg /m3 annual mean

200 µg /m3 1-hour mean

40 µg /m3 annual mean

200 µg /m3 1-hour mean

-

18

SO2

20 µg /m3 24-hour mean

-------------

500 µg /m3 10-minute mean

125 µg /m3 24-hour mean

350 µg /m3 1-hour mean

-----------

3

24

-

CO

10,000 µg /m3 8-hour mean

10,000 µg /m3 8-hour mean

-



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