Sussex Air Quality Health Advice

  • Sussex Air Quality Alert messages relate to the potential for predicted levels of pollution to impact on the health of the population.
  • Air pollution can cause short-term health effects in individuals who suffer from heart or lung conditions, including asthma and COPD. ‘Reliever’ inhalers may lessen effects on asthma sufferers and levels of exercise should be reduced during increased periods of air pollution.
  • For specialist advice on the effects of pollution on your specific condition please contact your health professional.
  • Health advice is based on the UK Air Quality Banding system approved by the Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollution Episodes (COMEAP). The system uses an index divided into four bands to provide more detail about air pollution levels in a simple way, similar to the sun index or pollen index.

What to do when you receive a message


Low (1-3)

When air pollution is LOW effects are unlikely to be noticed even by those who are sensitive to air pollution. Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.

alert moderate

Moderate (4-6)

When air pollution is MODERATE individuals sensitive to air pollution may notice mild effects but these are unlikely to need action. Adults and children with lung or heart conditions, who experience symptoms should take preventative medication and consider reducing strenuous physical activity, particularly outdoors.


High (7-9)

When air pollution is HIGH individuals sensitive to air pollution may notice significant effects and may need to take action Adults and children with lung or heart conditions should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particularly outdoors and especially if they experience symptoms. People with Asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion.

alert very high

Very High (10)

When air pollution is VERY HIGH effects on individuals sensitive to air pollution, described for HIGH pollution, may worsen. Adults and children with lung or heart conditions and older people should avoid strenuous physical activity. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.

  • The overall air pollution index for the region is calculated from the highest index value of five pollutants:
    • Nitrogen Dioxide
    • Sulphur Dioxide
    • Ozone
    • Carbon Monoxide
    • Particles < 10µm (PM10)

*Note: Adults and children with heart or lung conditions are at greater risk of symptoms. Follow your doctor’s usual advice about exercising and managing your condition. The Sussex Air Quality levels relate to the UK Daily Air Quality Index for air pollution.

Sign Up for Air Quality Alerts

Sussex Air Quality Alert

Service which sends free messages direct to vulnerable people informing them about air pollution levels.

Data & Reports

Contact Sussex Air

Email: Sussex-air