Designated concentrations of certain key pollutants at which some degree of danger to public health is expected. In many areas in which a relatively high level of pollution is often encountered, several levels of alert are often established. For example, a first alert may signify a potential problem exists; a second alert becomes a signal for the curtailment of certain significant emission sources; the third alert signifies the need for some specified emergency action which must be taken to ensure the public safety.
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. 'Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)' on page 2173 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199062112167)