The quality of the air around us is affected by pollutants released into the atmosphere through human activities.

Air quality in urban areas has improved significantly since the 1950s, but there are still some areas of towns and cities where the air quality is of concern. We have significantly reduced some pollutants through tighter controls on emissions. However, there is still a significant amount of work to be done.

Air monitoring


Scottish Air Quality - What is the air quality like in my area right now? Air pollution level updated hourly across Scotland.

Changes in emissions to air in Scotland

How has Scotland’s air quality changed since 1990? View changes in pollutants over time using the UK Air Quality application

Scottish Pollution Release Inventory

More detail from the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory including details about pollutants and waste transfers.


Scotland's environment map

The Scotland’s Environment map has map layers containing information and locations of air monitoring points, Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI). Use the map to add your own layers.

OPAL - Lichen distribution map

Where have nitrogen-sensitive lichens been found? How does this compare to nitrogen-tolerant species? This Lichen distribution map shows which types of lichens have been found in Air Surveys submitted up to December 2014.


London Air

London AirThe London Air app displays the latest air pollution levels recorded at over 100 monitoring in London. How do air quality levels there compare with air quality near you? Who do you think might use this app in London?

London Air


The AirVisual app provides real-time and forecast air pollution and weather data for more than 10,000 cities around the world.

AirVisual Logo

Citizen Science Surveys

OPAL Air Survey

Take part in the OPAL Air Survey and you can find out about air quality near you and help scientists answer important questions about the impacts of air quality across the UK.

OPAL Explore Nature Logo - Ladybird

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A citizen science survey from Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh suitable for individuals, groups or schools.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Logo


Making the case for the environment - Air Quality (Video).

Find out more about air quality and the environment in this video from SEPA.

The Greenhouse Effect

What is the greenhouse effect? Click on this diagram to find out more.

Clean air for Scotland

Sources of air pollution – primary and secondary pollutants. Click on this diagram to find out more.

This page was reviewed on 02 Sep 2020

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