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What is airTEXT?

airTEXT is a free service for the public providing air quality alerts by SMS text message, email and voicemail and 3-day forecasts of air quality, pollen, UV and temperature across Greater London. airTEXT is an independent service, operated by Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC) Ltd in partnership with a Consortium made up of representatives from all the member local authorities, the GLA, Public Health England and the Environment Agency. The airTEXT Consortium is chaired by Paul Clift, Environmental Health Manager at Islington Borough Council.

airTEXT air quality maps at 7m resolution are created using CERC's world-leading urban air quality dispersion modelling system ADMS-Urban.

Member local authorities pay a small annual subscription to be part of the service. The maintenance and development of the core airTEXT service is funded jointly by CERC and research projects in which CERC is involved. Grants from national and local government have contributed to airTEXT service developments in the past. airTEXT works in partnership with the GLA from time to time, for example on the Mayor of London's public notifications during high pollution episodes.

How are the forecasts made?

The air quality forecasts are produced using CERC's air pollution forecasting system. Information from weather forecasts, forecasts of pollution across Europe from the CAMS Regional Ensemble and very detailed data on about 30,000 pollution sources across London are fed into the world-leading ADMS-Urban air quality model to produce forecasts of air quality at a high degree of spatial resolution (7m). These forecasts are issued twice a day at about 7am and 7pm. The forecasts are updated throughout the day using real-time monitoring data from LondonAir. We compare the forecasts with observed pollution levels to assess the accuracy of the forecasts. These performance statistics are available here.

The hourly concentrations of four pollutants are calculated: nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and ozone (O3). From the hourly concentrations the daily air quality index (DAQI) of each pollutant is derived. The overall air quality index is determined by the highest index for any of these pollutants.

airTEXT issues an alert for a local authority or region if at least 10% of the geographical area is predicted to reach MODERATE or above.

Forecast values of UV, grass pollen and temperature are supplied by MeteoGroup.

Partners

airTEXT Consortium
The airTEXT Consortium is a Consortium of London Boroughs, Slough Borough Council, Chelmsford City Council, Colchester Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, the Greater London Authority, Environment Agency and Public Health England.
Barnet
Barking and Dagenham
Bexley
Brent
Bromley
Camden
Chelmsford
City of London
City of Westminster
Colchester
Croydon
Ealing
Enfield
Greenwich
Hackney
Hammersmith and Fulham
Haringey
Harrow
Havering
Hillingdon
Hounslow
Islington
Kensington and Chelsea
Kingston upon Thames
Lambeth
Lewisham
Merton
Newham
Redbridge
Richmond upon Thames
Slough
Southwark
Sutton
Three Rivers
Tower Hamlets
Waltham Forest
Wandsworth

Islington Council: www.islington.gov.uk
Islington Council currently leads the airTEXT consortium.

Cambridge:
Additional forecasts are provided for Cambridge although the Council is not a member of the airTEXT consortium.

CERC: www.cerc.co.uk
CERC develop and operate the airTEXT forecasting and alert system, which has operated across London since March 2007.

European Commission:
CERC has been a partner in a number of EU-funded projects which have contributed to the development of airTEXT, including PASODOBLE and the series of MACC projects. CERC is a member of the team delivering the EU's Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS). CERC is part of the sub-team facilitating user interaction.

DEFRA: www.defra.gov.uk
Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has provided support through an air quality grant to support. Grants to Islington and Hackney in 2012 have funded the development the daily bulletins for each Borough and the apps to enable free dissemination.

Greater London Authority: www.london.gov.uk
The Greater London Authority are members of the airTEXT Consortium and have provided match funding for airTEXT activities in the JOAQUIN project looking at air quality and health www.joaquin.eu.

PREVAIR: www.prevair.org
airTEXT currently obtains regional (European scale) forecasts of air quality, used as input to the ADMS-Urban modelling from the Prev'Air consortium's model output.

European Space Agency: www.esa.int/gmes
Supported the inital development of airTEXT through the PROMOTE projects.

Terms & Conditions

By subscribing to receive these alerts you agree to the following terms and conditions on the service.

Data controller
For data protection purposes Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants Ltd (CERC) is the registered data controller number Z9799094.

Purposes of data processing and lawful basis
We use your personal data only for the following purposes.
  1. To deliver the alerts to you
  2. For statistical purposes to improve the service, for instance to help us understand whether particular age groups are more likely to use the service
  3. (If you gave consent when subscribing) to contact you by telephone, email or post for follow-up surveys to help us improve the service
Our lawful basis for these uses is legitimate interest for delivering the alerts, and consent for the follow-up survey. You may withdraw your consent at any time by contacting us via the details given on the Contact Us section.

Transferring data to third parties
CERC and the airTEXT partner local authorities will only exchange your personal information with third parties when this is necessary in order to deliver the alerts or conduct surveys. This may include transferring data outside the EU to the following services: MailChimp our chosen email automation platform, MessageBird and OpenText our chosen platforms for SMS text message and voicemail automation, and SurveyMonkey our chosen automatic survey platform.

Retention periods
We will retain your personal data only while you are subscribed to receive alerts.

Your rights
You have a number of rights under the General Data Protection Regulation with regard to your personal data. You have the right to request a copy of your personal data, to rectify your personal data if it is incorrect, to restrict processing, to ask for your data to be erased, to withdraw consent for processing where you have provided it, and the right to data portability.

How to complain
If you have a complaint you can contact us via the details on the Contact Us section. You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the UK data protection supervisory authority: the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Limitations of the forecasting system and liability for your health
Air pollution forecasts are inherently uncertain and their accuracy is not guaranteed. In addition, air pollution is not the only cause of health problems. CERC and the airTEXT partner local authorities and agencies accept no liability for your health nor for any action you take based on the forecasts or alerts or the consequences of your actions. The air pollution forecasts and health advice provided on the airtext.info website is purely indicative.

Service provision
CERC will endeavour to provide air pollution forecasts and alerts twice daily but accepts no legal liability for failure to provide these forecasts and alerts nor the consequences of any actions you may take arising from such failure.

Copyright
The forecasts text summaries and forecast maps are the intellectual property of CERC and may not redistributed or published by any means without the prior written permission of CERC.

Contact Us

The airTEXT service is co-ordinated by the London borough of Islington.
For all enquiries about the service, including subscribe and unsubscribe questions, please contact the airTEXT project co-ordinators on:

Telephone: 020 7527 2000
Email: pollution@islington.gov.uk
Or write to:

airTEXT project co-ordinator
c/o London Borough of Islington
222 Upper Street
London
N1 1XR

airTEXT forecasting system enquiries

For all enquiries about the airTEXT forecasting and alert system
but not including subscribe and unsubscribe questions, please contact:

Telephone:
Within the UK: 01223 357 773
From outside the UK: +44 1223 357 773
Email: forecast@cerc.co.uk
Or write to:

Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants Ltd
3 Kings Parade
Cambridge
CB2 1SJ
United Kingdom
About airTEXT