Topic 2f - Practical Products – City level apps for air quality and health

Bad air quality is a major environmental risk to human health. Health problems caused by pollution include cardiovascular and respiratory illness, added stress to heart and lungs, damaged cells in the respiratory system, development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and possibly cancer. The WHO estimated that in 2012, some 72% of outdoor air pollution-related premature deaths were due to ischaemic heart disease and strokes, while 14% of deaths were due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or acute lower respiratory infections, and 14% of deaths were due to lung cancer.

In the UK air pollution kills around 40,000 people each year, and 4.6 million worldwide. To help people avoid the dangers of air pollution there are many near real-time forecasting applications. An example of this is Riga airText, which is an app that provides air pollution forecasts for the city of Riga in Latvia.

Featured Educators:

  • Dr Mark Parrington

  • Dr Richard Engelen

Don’t forget you can download the video, transcript and take any quizzes available with the links on the right.

Interactive Apps



Is image shows how the DiscovAir app will look


Pollution estimate provided by ATMOSYS system of a planned new road in Bratislava. The green line is the current road which would see an reduction of air pollution to low levels, and the red line is the proposed road which would experience high levels of pollution.

Riga airText

Air quality index map of Riga, Latvia for the Riga airText map

Met Office air pollution forecast

Daily forecast for the UK of air pollution levels