skip to the main content area of this page
Photos of Sussex

Current airAlert

Moderate airAlert icon There is a Moderate pollution alert in Sussex
airAlert website
coldAlert logo
The Sussex coldAlert service is providing severe cold weather alerts to vulnerable people over the winter


Monitoring photo Air quality monitoring is carried out at a number of locations and using a range of techniques of varying complexity across Sussex. For example, simple, cheap nitrogen diffusion tubes are used widely (over 100 monitoring points across Sussex) and can provide information to compare with the annual mean objective for that pollutant. More complex, automated monitoring is carried out in roadside environments as well as in urban background and rural sites, to gather a full picture of air quality across Sussex. There are currently 15 local authority funded automatic air pollution monitors across Sussex, plus the County mobile air quality monitoring lab (right), in addition to 2 DEFRA funded sites at Lullington Heath and Brighton.

Monitoring photo These monitoring stations monitor for a variety of different pollutants and provide valuable information to assist in the air quality review and assessment process allowing us to assess the concentrations of pollutants against the UK air quality objectives. The pollutants monitored are:

  • nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • ozone (O3)
  • particulates < 10 microns (PM10)
  • sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • carbon monoxide (CO)

The exact location of the automatic monitoring sites, classification (e.g. roadside, urban background, rural), and species monitored can be found on air quality near me. In addition these air quality monitoring stations (AQMS) are key in providing information for the Sussex-wide air quality forecasts service – airAlert.

Air Pollution Information Bands

Air quality information is published via – airAlert and other services use the UK Air Pollution Information Bands for five pollutants to determine the level of the alerts. The bands have been provided by the Department of Health's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (*COMEAP).

The bands are Low, Moderate, High and Very High (see Table below) and relate to the potential for the levels of pollution to impact on the health of the population.

Pollution Band & Numerical Index Health Effect
1-3 (LOW) Effects are unlikely to be noticed by people who know they are sensitive to air pollutants.
4-6 (MODERATE) Mild effects are unlikely to require action, but sensitive people may notice them.
7-9 (HIGH) **Sensitive people may notice significant effects, and may have to act to reduce or avoid them (for example, by reducing time spent outdoors). Asthmatics will find that their reliever inhaler should reverse the effects of pollution on their lungs.
10 (VERY HIGH) The effects of high levels of pollution on sensitive people may worsen when pollution becomes very high.

* COMEAP is an Advisory Committee of independent experts that provides advice to Government Departments and Agencies on all matters concerning the potential toxicity and effects upon health of air pollutants.

**Sensitive individuals are people who suffer from heart and lung diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Back to the top

Back to Local Air Quality Management