Pollution index and health advice

The index used to describe air quality is the daily air quality index (DAQI) for the UK. The index represents air pollution using a 1-10 scale divided into four bands: LOW (1, 2, 3), MODERATE (4, 5, 6), HIGH (7, 8, 9), VERY HIGH (10).

The health advice shown below for at risk individuals and for the general population is taken from

Remember that air pollution levels are normally low in London and for most of the time you will not notice any effects on your health. It's important that you do not become alarmed or panic when you receive an airTEXT alert. It is designed to help you ensure you have any necessary medication at hand and to prepare your day ahead to reduce your exposure.

*Adults and children with heart or lung problems are at greater risk of symptoms. Follow your doctor's usual advice about exercising and managing your condition. It is possible that very sensitive individuals may experience health effects even on Low air pollution days. Anyone experiencing symptoms should follow the guidance provided below.

Long term effects of air pollution

Information on the long-term health effects of air pollution is available in the 2009 Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants COMEAP report Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution: Effect on Mortality.

UV advice

The forecasts of UV are forecasts of maximum hourly cloud-adjusted solar UV index over a 24-hr period. 1 to 2 is LOW, 3 to 5 is MODERATE, 6 to 7 is HIGH, 8+ is VERY HIGH.
Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign has advice on staying safe in the sun.

Pollen advice

The forecasts of pollen are forecasts of daily grass pollen and may be LOW, MODERATE, HIGH or VERY HIGH.
The NHS hay fever webpage has advice on prevention and treatment of hay fever.

Hot weather advice

The forecasts show the minimum and maximum hourly temperatures predicted over a 24-hour period.
The NHS heatwave webpage has advice about how to keep cool in hot weather.

Cold weather advice

The forecasts show the minimum and maximum hourly temperatures predicted over a 24-hour period.
The NHS Winter health web page has advice about how to keep warm in cold weather.

* - If you text AIRTEXT to 78070 to sign up for text alerts, you will be charged for your sign-up message at your standard text rate and then you will receive free text alerts for Central London. Alternatively you can sign up online for free and choose to get alerts for your area by text, email or voicemail. You can also download our free smartphone app.