German Environment Agency launches air quality app for Android and iPhone devices

Up-to-date measurements of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone pollution available from 400 measuring stations

the Luftqualität app on a smartphoneClick to enlarge
The app has up-to-date information about particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone pollution.
Source: Umweltbundesamt

How good is the air that we breathe? Reliable and up-to-date information is now available from Luftqualität [Air Quality], the free and ad-free app by the German Environment Agency (UBA) for Android and iPhone devices. The app posts hourly updated data on harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The data is collected from more than 400 air quality measuring stations across Germany. An air quality index (AQI) ranging from "very good" to "very poor" also provides an instant view of the air quality at every station. Depending on the data reported, the app issues health advice about doing outdoor activities. Users can choose to receive warning alerts when air quality is poor. Together with the launch of the app, UBA has upgraded its air data web portal in an even clearer design.

"Air Quality" app

The federal and state measuring stations and the stations of the German Environment Agency take round-the-clock air quality measurements. Shortly after data is recorded, the results for a few of the pollutants and the resulting air quality index (AQI) are available on the app. The AQI is calculated using the measured concentrations of the three pollutants particulate matter (PM10 ), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3), with the concentration with the poorest individual result determining the total result of the AQI. The AQI is divided into five classes: 'very good', 'good', 'moderate', 'good', 'very good'. For every AQI class, there is an assessment of whether or not air pollution is harmful to health or outdoor activities should be avoided. The app is ad-free and available for free.

Air data portal

The upgraded, newly designed online air data portal lets users get updated air quality information and do searches on current and past conditions: A new feature is the air quality index which, just as the app does, provides a quick overview of current conditions. It also offers diagrams of AQI trends from past to present. The air data portal has maps of Germany which show the concentrations of one of five air pollutants (particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide) in specific regions and on specific days, and in some cases times of day. There is also an ozone forecast for the current day and a two-day outlook. The measured concentrations for all five pollutants are up-to-date but historical data is also available. Users can look up data for several stations or pollutants and time periods. Results can also be downloaded. Tables of exceedances of the short-term limit and target values for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide and ozone can be generated for the current year. An annual tabulation option enables users to compare annual mean values from earlier years for each pollutant, going back to 2000. Furthermore for any year and pollutant, the tables show data on exceedances of limit and target values at every station. The air data portal is best viewed with a desktop web browser.

Accuracy of data

All daily air quality data is provisional and has not been quality-assured.

Umweltbundesamt Hauptsitz

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06844 Dessau-Roßlau