Measurement of long-range and transboundary air pollution

Air-borne pollutants are often imperceptible to the human senses. They are invisible yet always present in moving air masses. Some air pollutants occur in such low concentrations that they do not have any effect on humans or the environment. With others it takes a long time until their effects are manifest.

In order to guarantee clean air for human beings and the environment or, where necessary, to improve air quality, experts regularly carry out measurements countrywide. The air monitoring networks operated by the German Federal Environment Agency and Germany's Länder fulfil different tasks.

The air monitoring network of the Federal Environment Agency ( Umweltbundesamt - UBA) operates measuring stations far away from densely populated areas and cities. Local sources of pollutants, such as industrial sites or power stations, should not affect the measurements.

Situated in rural areas, the stations of the Federal Environment Agency measure the quality of air masses transported over long distances and across national frontiers.

Measurement of local air pollution

Unlike the UBA, Germany's Länder operate measuring stations in cities, in conurbations, in areas with high traffic density as well as in rural regions, in order to monitor and determine local and regional air quality.

Current pollution situation

The Federal Environment Agency brings together the air quality data from its own network and those of the Länder's networks. These data are used to provide, for each measured pollutant, maps showing the current air quality situation in all of Germany. This information is updated continuously.

Measuring values from individual stations with high air pollution levels are made available by the environment agencies of the Länder.

Information on measuring sites

Each air monitoring station in Germany (Federal or Länder) has a specific measuring programme and works with specific measuring instruments. Information both on stations currently in operation and on stations that are no longer operational is available at the Federal Environment Agency’s stations database.

Further information