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A Short Guide To The Air Quality Index

Posted in Air Quality, on July 03, 2015

Do you know how unhealthy or clean your air is?

An Air Quality Index (AQI) is the numeral government agencies use to communicate or predict the extent of air pollution in a certain region. The index concentrates on medical effects you might potentially experience within days or hours after inhaling unhealthy air. As the index increases, so does the population that's likely to exhibit increasingly severe health effects. Varying countries have their indices that correspond to varying standards of air quality. If you're curious about your area's air quality, check this out.

How AQI Works

The AQI is a tool that runs from 0-500. Higher values translate into a higher degree of air pollution and greater medical concerns. For instance, a value of 50 signifies good air quality with minimal or no likelihood of affecting the public while a value that surpasses 300 signifies hazardous air quality that potentially poses serious effects on everyone. Values below or at 100 typically indicate satisfactory air quality. Calculation of the index needs the concentration of an air pollutant over a specified period, acquired from an air model or monitor. The index can increase following an increase in emissions. Throughout periods of extremely poor quality, agencies may implement emergency plans.

AQI in Canada

Canada has used Air Quality Indices (AQIs) to report air quality for numerous years. The country designed the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to help comprehend the effect of air quality on Canadians' health. The country uses the tool to make decisions to decrease short-term exposure to air pollution by modifying activity levels throughout increased air pollution levels. The index pays special attention to those who experience air pollution sensitivity. The tool offers a numeral from 1-10, indicating the degree of health risk related to local (AQ). The number may surpass 10 during abnormally high pollution levels. An AQHI of 1-3 indicates low risk while and index ranging from 4-6 indicates moderate risk. Some of the current AQHI readings for Canadian cities include:

Calgary-3 (low risk)

Calgarians are lucky because their air quality is good. This is because strong western winds help discourage the development of low smog level above the city. Nevertheless, its increasing population and air emissions from road dust and vehicle travel could cause deterioration of air quality.

Toronto-4 (moderate risk)

The city has implemented various initiatives to enhance air quality and protect the people's health against pollution effects.

Yellowknife-7 (high risk)

The city is prone to high degrees of air pollution due to wild fires.

AQI in United States

The Environmental Protection Agency has created an AQI that reports air quality. The index has six categories, revealing growing levels of medical concern. While any value below 50 indicates good air quality, anything above 300 signifies harmful air quality. In numerous American communities, AQI values are typically below 100 with higher values registering a few times annually. AQI values differ depending on the season and time of day. For instance, high carbon monoxide levels may exist in some regions since cold weather hinders the efficient functioning of vehicle control systems. Some of the current AQI for American cities include:

New York-72 (moderate health risk)

Air pollution in this city is an important environmental threat, which contributes to an approximated 6% of yearly deaths. Enhancing its air quality is hard because numerous kinds of pollutants originate from various sources, outside and inside New York's boundaries. Are you wondering whether your area has good air quality? Perhaps you should examine the Air Quality Index to establish whether you're prone to various health issues. If you need assistance with air quality issues, kindly contact us for a solution so we can help (416) 414-5690

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