Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Air Pollution Alert System, the free air pollution alert messaging system

Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Air Pollution Alert System is a free service to subscribers in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire that sends registered users an alert message if air pollution in their area is forecast or measured to be moderate, high or very high. The description of the level of pollution is based upon the UK's Air Quality Banding System.

The alert service is provided for anyone wishing to know about the quality of the air they breathe. It will be of particular benefit to people with medical conditions that may be affected by pollution, such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. It may also benefit people whose breathing gets worse when air pollution increases. This early warning service allows you to make informed decisions and to take action if necessary to minimise the effects of pollution episodes.

The System is not designed to report on levels of pollen. For further information on levels of pollen please visit the pollen forecast

How does it work?

Every day around 2 pm, air quality forecasters at Ricardo issue a detailed pollution forecast for the following day. Under the scheme, anyone who lives or works in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire can sign up to receive free air pollution alerts by mobile phone text message, voicemail or email. You will get an air quality alert whenever air pollution levels are forecast to be MODERATE, HIGH or VERY HIGH. Guidance outlined by health professionals is provided with each alert to enable you to make informed decisions and take any precautions necessary.

Due to the restricted content of SMS, an abbreviated alert will be sent to SMS subscribers with further details available on the website. In order to receive alerts in full, please select Voicemail or email options when subscribing.

Air Pollution Alert Associated Health Guidance
Moderate If you have a pre-existing heart or lung condition you may notice some mild effects, however, these are unlikely to require any action. 
High If you have a pre-existing heart or lung condition you may notice significant effects.
If this happens and you suffer from a lung disorder, you may need to change your treatment in the usual way to increase its effectiveness or reduce the time you spend outdoors. If these steps don't help, consult your doctor or ring NHS 24 on 111.
Very High If you suffer from a heart condition and you notice a change in your symptoms, do not try to change your treatment yourself, but seek medical advice as you normally would or ring NHS 24 on 111.

Alerts will be dispatched on the evening before a high pollution day

More information on the potential impact of air quality on health

How to sign up

To register, you need to provide us with some information about yourself. You can choose how you would like to receive your alerts (via email, SMS or voicemail). You may also register on behalf of someone else or a group of people who are susceptible to the effects of air pollution.

Sign up to Air Pollution Alert now!

Read the Terms and Conditions/Limitations

For further information on Air Quality Alerts please email: David.Madle@ricardo.com

Relevant links

Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP)
British Lung Foundation
The Breathe Easy (part of the British Lung Foundation) support group network provides support and information for people living with a lung condition, and for those who look after them.
Asthma UK is the charity dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the 5.4 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.