“What is your air quality index?”
– everyone on the east coast rn
With smoke from Canadian wildfires setting off air quality alerts in more than a dozen US states, millions of Americans are suddenly intimately familiar with them. Air Quality Index, or AQIA color-coded digital scale that helps people understand health risks and exposure to airborne pollutants at any given time.
The Environmental Protection Agency has an online dashboard (AirNow.gov) where you can type in your location (or any location) to see the AQI.
“The US air quality index is getting a lot of media attention right now, but it’s really cool,” Dr. Brady Scott, a fellow with the American Respiratory Association, told Yahoo News. “Because only you can Enter your postal code And kind of understanding air quality is where you’re at.”
The so-called AirNow system was created by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1998 to serve as a “central, nationwide repository” for real-time data collected by local, state, and federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Park Service, NASA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Disease control and prevention.
The subsequent Air Quality Index (AQI) measures the amount of pollution in the air on a scale of 0-500, with a higher number indicating a higher concentration of the following pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act:
• Ozone at ground level
• Particulate pollution (also known as particulate matter)
• Carbon Monoxide
• sulfur dioxide
• Nitrogen dioxide
Wildfires in Canada release high concentrations of fine particles (with diameters less than 2.5 micrometers, almost invisible to the naked eye) into the air that has drifted south, causing high AQIs in states from Vermont to South Carolina.
In New York City on Wednesday, for example, the AQI peaked at 405, the highest level since record-keeping began, according to EPA data analysis by Fox Weather. The previous record – 279 – was set in July 1981.
Any number over 100 is considered “unhealthy” for sensitive groups, such as children or people with heart or lung disease. When the air quality index exceeds 200, everyone, even those without respiratory disease, is at risk.
Or you can just go by the colors.
“If it’s green or yellow, that’s okay for most individuals,” Brady explained. “When it’s orange, there’s a concern that some people, especially those with respiratory illnesses, might be affected. When you’re in the red and certainly when we’re in the purple or maroon areas, everybody’s at risk, even if you’re one of the so-called The name of a healthy person.
If you haven’t already done so, you can do so Find your current Air Quality Index on AirNow.gov here >>>