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Air pollution standards

2nd February, 2005

There is a range of standards set by various bodies which specify the maximum levels of air pollution. The most important pollutants are nitrogen dioxide (NO2), small particulates (PM10) and ozone (O3).

A number of organisations have set standards for air quality or – to put it more bluntly – air pollution. The organisations include a government ‘expert panel’, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the UK government and the EU.There are standards for over a dozen specific pollutants, but the most important 3 are nitrogen dioxide (NO2), small particulates (PM10) and ozone (O3). These are the ones where standards are often breached and which pose the biggest threat to health. They are also the pollutants that are of most significance in respect of air travel and airports. See publication below for summary of standards for these 3 pollutants (Word document, 1 page). See also general air pollution briefing (14 pages), quotes from the aviation White Paper and information on sources and health effects. Air pollution standards summary