Air Quality Index: What Does it Mean?
What is the Air Quality Index Scale?
When checking the weather, you might notice an area called Air Quality Index (AQI), but what does that mean? “The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a simple, color-coded, unitless index that is an effective way to communicate air pollution concentrations to the general public”.(1) The AQI scale starts at 0 and goes to 500. The greater the AQI, the greater the risks and health concerns. An AQI below 50 represents good air quality, but once the air quality gets above 100, the air quality becomes unhealthy, especially for sensitive groups.
The people most sensitive to bad air quality include:
- People with heart or lung disease.
- People with diabetes.
- Older adults.
- Children less than 18 years old.
Air pollution’s effects on human health include increased respiratory symptoms, hospitalization for heart or lung diseases, and even premature death. If the AQI is at an unhealthy level, reduce your time outside and reduce the intensity of your outdoor activity.
The number is forecasted daily based on the most common ambient air pollutants. Those pollutants are ground-level ozone, particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). “Emissions of air pollutants continue to play an important role in a number of air quality issues”.(2) Pollutants emitted come from vehicles, factories, and other sources. Weather conditions also influence and impact emissions and air quality.
RadGreen is Here to Help!
RadGreen has a solution that will provide more details about your living space. Using the Mini AQ Outdoor for your outdoor areas, roofs, and entrances, the monitor will be able to track common air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM2.5), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in your space to keep you safe.
1“Air Quality Index (AQI) – US EPA.” EPA, https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2014-05/documents/zell-aqi.pdf.
2“Air Quality – National Summary.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/air-trends/air-quality-national-summary.
3“Aqi Basics.” AQI Basics | AirNow.gov, AirNow.gov, U.S. EPA, https://www.airnow.gov/aqi/aqi-basics/.
4“Managing Air Quality – Human Health, Environmental and Economic Assessments.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/air-quality-management-process/managing-air-quality-human-health-environmental-and-economic.
5“Patient Exposure and the Air Quality Index.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/pmcourse/patient-exposure-and-air-quality-index.