airACT is an application developed by the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in collaboration with Ecologistas en Acción, the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Guifi.net, Legambiente, Zentrum für Soziale Innovation, GLOBAL 2000 and the Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand within the framework of the European CAPTOR project. Its main objective is to inform the population about air quality in real time and help to act against air pollution. airACT is free software and completely free.
About the data shown in airACT
airACT uses the data from reference stations supplied by the official regional air quality monitoring networks in each country. The datasets are merged in the database managed by the European Environment Agency, from where they are fed into airACT. airACT is grateful to all the regional air quality monitoring networks and the European Environment Agency.
airACT data is given in UTC time (UTC +1 in winter and UTC+2 in summer).
Legend of airACT ranges
airAct collects and process the data from the official reference stations in order to provide understandable and useful information for citizens in terms of effects on health and legal compliance of European legislation, in four colors.
Hourly measuresExceeds legal alert threshold Exceeds the legal limit value (threshold information for O₃) Intermediate situation without legal breach Health effects not accredited
Daily-8 hour mean (ozone). Moving averagesExceeds the legal limit value (OI-2 WHO for PM₁₀ and PM₂.₅) Exceeds the WHO recommendation Intermediate situation without WHO breach Health effects not accredited
Daily values are provided in real time based on the calculation of moving averages: last 24 hours average for PM₁₀, PM₂.₅ and SO₂ and last 8-hour mean value for O₃.
Nitrogen oxides NOx (NO₂, NO) are a group of highly reactive gaseous chemical compounds. Prolonged exposure to NO₂ may lead to decreased levels of lung function and increase the risk of respiratory conditions (asthma, bronchitis), especially in children and the elderly. This compounds affect the environment, producing ecosystems acidification and eutrophication.
Particulate matter (PM₁₀, PM₂.₅ and ultra-fine PM₀.₁) are emitted directly into the atmosphere or generated as a result of chemical reactions of precursor gases (NOx, SO₂, COV, NH₃). They affect the respiratory system and increase the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, and lung cancer. Mortality due to this pollutant, in the cleanest urban areas, is estimated to be about 15-20%.
It is a gas that originates from emissions of other pollutants called precursors, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These pollutants are transformed into ozone in the presence of solar radiation, especially in summer, affecting the surrounding suburban and rural areas where one could expect a healthier air. In addition to respiratory disorders, it causes mucosal irritations and asthma, and facilitates the development of lung diseases. An increase of only 10μg/m3 increases by 0.4% the mortality by heart disease. It also affects the environment and agriculture, with loss of productivity that can reach up to the 39%(CIEMAT, 2009: El ozono troposférico y sus efectos en la vegetación).
It is a colorless gas, with a strong and suffocating odor, which is transformed into sulfuric acid in a humid atmosphere, and causes acid deposition. These compounds cause irritation of the respiratory system - with consequent cough, mucous secretions, aggravation of asthma and bronchitis -, and connective tissues. It increases the risk of respiratory infections and causes great damage by acidification of natural ecosystems.
*Source: Department of Territory and Sustainability. Generalitat de Catalunya
- Join CAPTOR and others campaigns from Ecologistas en Acción (Spain), Legambiente (Italy) and GLOBAL 2000 (Austria).
- Walk, move around by bike, use public transport.
- Avoid driving and if you have no other option for your regular journeys, look for people to share journeys.
- Reduce your exposure by selecting the less travelled streets when you walk or when you cycle
- Reduce electricity consumption and waste generation.
- Opt for sustainable tourism.
- Change your habits, choose local products from small businesses in the neighbourhood.
- Request authorities to report swiftly and understandable levels of contamination.
- Request the authorities preparation of mandatory plans for improving air quality and short-term actions.