Review of the UK air quality index

Jon Ayres, Kirsty Smallbone, Stephen Holgate, Gary Fuller

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This is the first report prepared by the Standards Advisory Subgroup (CSAS) of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants. The subgroup was formed in June 2009 when the Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (EPAQS) was merged with COMEAP. The work of the subgroup is supported by a joint Secretariat from both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Health Protection Agency. In 2009, the subgroup was asked by Defra to review the current UK air quality index. Since the air quality index was last revised in 1998, there have been a number of developments in the regulation of air pollution and in the presentation of air quality information, which are reflected in these proposals. COMEAP is very keen to enhance the way we communicate facts about air pollution to the public and the findings from the public insight study, which was commissioned by Defra, have been invaluable for developing the health advice and the presentation of the index. I am grateful to Stephen Holgate, the Chairman of the Standards Advisory Subgroup, who has ensured that the needs of the public for clear information were central to the development of these proposals. I am also grateful to the Secretariat and Members of the subgroup who developed the report and, indeed, to all Members of COMEAP. This is a real advance in helping the public deal with the impact of polluted air. I look forward to seeing how these proposals are received by Defra.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHealth Protection Agency for the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants
Number of pages124
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • health
  • air pollution
  • air quality
  • triggers
  • ozone
  • air quality index
  • health advice


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