Some substances in the air contain, depending on their concentrations, a risk for our health and for the environment. Therefore the European Commission and the Flemish Region define standards per pollutant. These standards are defined based on both health effect and economic feasibility. Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) is responsible for measuring and reporting the air quality in Flanders.
VMM verifies whether different pollutants meet these legal European and Flemish standards. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also defines standards. These standards only take the detrimental effects on our health into account and are therefore often more stringent than the Flemish or European standards. In its reports, VMM also checks if the air concentrations meet these advisory WHO standards. VMM also measures the concentration of many substances for which no legislation exists. In these cases, VMM deduces whether there are improvements for these pollutants from the observed trends.