HomeBlogWhat Is Air Quality Index and How to Analyse It?

What Is Air Quality Index and How to Analyse It?

Although smog and polluted air seems to be omnipresent, there are a few steps we can take to limit our exposure to harmful substances and to keep our fingers on the pulse. What is air quality index and how can you use it? Keep reading!

Air quality index – what is it?

In simple words, an air quality index is an index used to determine air quality on a day-to-day basis. Thanks to it, we’re able to determine the impact of polluted air on our health in a given time period.

This solution has been devised to put people in the picture and help them understand how smog affects their well-being.

What is air quality index based on?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates the air quality index based on five main harmful substances:

  1. Nitrogen dioxide
  2. Carbon Monoxide
  3. Ground-level ozone
  4. Sulphur dioxide
  5. Particulate matter.

As you may guess, the higher the air index value, the higher the air pollution level and the more dangerous the air is to our health.

Why is AQI important?

Thanks to the air quality index, it’s possible to juxtapose pollution in different locations. Moreover, it allows us to determine whether the smog levels decrease or increase, and it’s a source of information about the condition of the environment.

The AQI may be particularly important for people suffering from conditions caused by polluted air. Since they have quality information at their fingertips, they can make informed decisions and stay at home when needed.

how to determine air quality index

What air quality index is safe?

Now when you know the air quality index meaning, it’s time to estimate which values are safe and don’t damage our health.

Since different countries use different scale points, let’s take a 1-10 index as an example:

  • Low: 1 – 3,
  • Moderate: 4 – 7,
  • High: 7 – 9,
  • Very high: 10.

How to determine air quality index? The takeaway

Today, determining air quality level isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is to turn on your computer or smartphone and look for online maps, sensors, or air quality apps that will allow you to check air pollution with a few clicks.

How to improve air quality in your community? Read our article!

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