Scottish Government
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Know and Respond

Scotland’s first air pollution mobile phone alert service, Know and Respond, was launched yesterday in a bid to make information more accessible and improve public health.

Know and Respond will allow people to sign up to receive a message – text or voicemail – when levels of any air pollutant in their area are classed as moderate, or above. Pollution levels are monitored according to the same ten level scale used in air pollution forecasting across the UK. 

This is the first Government driven project of its kind in the UK.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

“Know and Respond has been developed as another way to help the public get the information they need quickly, and at the touch of a button.

“The service is open to anyone, but it will be of particular benefit to people with pre-existing respiratory and other health conditions that may be adversely affected by high pollution levels. Response messages have been developed in collaboration with colleagues within NHS Scotland, and provide advice on the action individuals need to take. 

“This demonstrates the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to making technical information easily and widely available to the general public, and also to improving human health.”

The 10-level scale in air pollution forecasting was drawn up by central UK government and the government advisory body The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution.  Levels 4 to 6 on the scale are classed as Moderate, 7 to 9 are High and 10 is Very High. 

Generally for healthy adults, moderate air pollution levels are unlikely to have any serious short term effects. However, elevated levels and/or long term exposure to air pollution may lead to more serious symptoms and conditions affecting human health in some circumstances.

Related information

Sign up for Know and Respond

The Scottish Air Quality Database