High concentrations of ozone in Europe were lower during
the summer of 2007 than any other year in the past decade,
according to the latest data unveiled by the European Environment
Agency's technical report - 'Air Pollution by Ozone across
In contrast to the same season in 2006, the threshold of
180µg/m³ was not exceeded in northern Europe.
The highest one-hour ozone concentration of 479µg/m³ was
observed in Sicily in Italy, followed by 363µg/m³ in Romania.
France, Greece, Italy and Romania also reported high hourly
ozone concentrations at least six times last summer.
Compared to the long-term objective of protecting human health
(maximum ozone concentration of 120µg/m³ over 8 hours), data
for 2007 show that the thresholds set by the Directive
2002/3/EC were generally surpassed across Europe.
High concentrations of ozone in the air pose risks to health
- by irritating breathing, reducing lung function and triggering
asthma. Ground-level ozone is formed from pollutants emitted
from vehicle exhausts and industrial production and is currently
one of the air pollutants of most concern in Europe.
To download the report report - Air Pollution by Ozone
across Europe - Click
Notes on Directive 2002/3/EC:
This legislation relating to ozone in ambient air aims to
- establish common methods and criteria
for assessing concentrations of ozone in ambient air
- set long-term objectives, target values
for 2010, an alert threshold and an information threshold
for concentrations of ozone in ambient air in the Community
- ensure that adequate information is
obtained on ambient levels of ozone and that it is made
available to the public
- maintain or improve ambient air quality
- promote increased cooperation between
the Member States in reducing ozone levels.