Defra and the Devolved Administrations supports a number of research networks that gather data about certain air pollutants:
- The Black Carbon network monitors concentrations of elemental carbon and indicates the presence of aromatic organic compounds such as are found in wood smoke, biomass-burning smoke, and tobacco smoke. This network continues a historical data set of black smoke which dates back to the 1920s.
- The Particle Numbers and Concentrations Network monitors several parameters and gathers evidence from other available sources to improve understanding of the characteristics and behavior of particulate matter.
- The European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP) assesses the transport across Europe of acidification and eutrophication, the formation of ground level ozone, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals and particulate matter. The UK has two 'supersites', one in the north of the UK at Auchencorth Moss in Scotland, and one in the south at Harwell in Oxfordshire. These monitor changes in background levels of a very wide range of air pollutants and are used for occasional intensive campaigns coordinated across Europe.