The air quality indicator measures emissions of air pollutants. It is a way of attempting to measure the health of the environment as a basic condition for a healthy life.
Emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds without methane and particulate matters are studied. They are all given equal weighting and collated in an index. The data source is the Federal Environment Agency.
Upper limits and reduction targets for the release of these air pollutants are set out in national emissions limits and in the Gothenburg Protocol agreed as part of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution in Geneva. The regulations on air quality and clean air for Europe define thresholds and targets for concentrations of air pollutants. The WHO's recommendations on outdoor air pollutant concentrations are generally stricter.