What is the Air Quality Index?

What is The Air Quality Index?

When air is clean, it is clear and only includes trace levels of chemical and solid impurities. High levels of pollutants in poor air are typically foggy, harmful to human health, and hazardous to the ecosystem. The Air Quality Index (AQI), based on the concentration of pollutants in a certain area, is used to describe air quality.

Air pollution develops when harmful pollutants, whether they be gasses, liquids, or solids, enter the atmosphere. Although there are certain natural processes that can result in air pollution, such as sulfur and chlorine gasses from volcanic activity, smoke and ash from wildfires, dust storms, and biological deterioration, the bulk of pollution in the atmosphere comes from human-made sources. 

what is air quality index

What is the Air Quality Index?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Air Quality Index (AQI) to offer a straightforward, uniform method of reporting daily air quality conditions.

Five contaminants are measured hourly to produce the AQI numbers

Ground-level ozone, nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and fine particles of carbon dioxide and dioxide.

The contaminant having the highest overall AQI value for that hour determines it. The MPCA creates daily air quality forecasts for ground-level ozone and fine particle concentrations.

Importance of Air Quality Index

The air quality index forecast is required to give citizens a way to measure the risks of air pollution at various intensities. One of the main reasons for sickness and early mortality worldwide is air pollution. 

According to the World Health Organization, three million people die as a result of ambient outdoor air pollution each year.

Improving the air around you, you are literally prolonging your life and those around you. 

How Does the Air Quality Index Work?

Levels of Air Quality Index:

Depending on the number of atmospheric air pollutants present in the region’s air, the Air Quality Index map assigns the air in a specific geographic area one of six rankings. From Good to Hazardous, the air quality ratings are given. Each ranking has an associated color and numerical value.

The first position on the AQI scale denotes Good air quality; it is represented by the color green and ranges from 0 to 50.

The color yellow designates the second category of the AQI, which contains tolerable or moderate air quality. It has a range of values from 51 to 100.

The color orange is used to signify the third category of the AQI, which refers to air that is “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” It has values from 101 to 150.

The color red represents section four of the AQI and means unhealthy air. The range is from 151 to 200.

The numbers 201 to 300 are found in the fifth area of the AQI, which is indicated by the color purple.

The values 301 to 500, which are hazardous, are located in the final area of the AQI, which is indicated by the color maroon.

How to Read the Air Quality Index?

The air quality index is typically Low (0 to 50) or Moderate (51–100), displayed as green or yellow, respectively, if the air quality is satisfactory. For Members of Sensitive Groups, such as Asthmatics, Seniors, Children, and Anyone with a History of Heart Disease, an AQI of 100-150 indicates that the air is Unhealthy. Everyone should stay inside or use a fitted mask with a pm2.5 filter after the AQI reaches 200, which means the air is unhealthy.

The AQI can reach Very Unhealthy (201-300) or Hazardous (301+) levels during periods of heavy wildfire smoke. Keep in mind that the air quality is regarded as being at or over the limit once the AQI reaches 500.

Local TV and radio stations frequently report the air quality reading when there is a wildfire smoke or other form of air pollution.

How to Improve Air Quality?

Both national and international reform is required to enhance air quality and slow global warming. Actions taken by individuals and communities, however, are as crucial.

Utilize less coal. Burning coal has a more significant impact on air pollution than burning oil or gas because coal releases more carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and heavy metal pollutants per unit of energy. However, pollution from burning all fossil fuels is bad for the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other pollutants are released into the atmosphere by cars and other vehicles. Air pollution can be reduced by driving less and substituting walking, biking, or public transit.

Over the past few decades, the demand for energy, typically generated by burning fossil fuels, has increased tremendously. Turn off lights, get energy-efficient appliances, and keep the thermostat at a higher setting during the summer and a lower setting during the winter to conserve energy. Sustainable energy sources also aid in improving air quality.

How Can You Increase The Quality of Air?

Step 1: Determine the possible causes of poor air quality in your house and stop them in their tracks!

Step 2: Insufficient ventilation makes it possible for pollutants from the outside to enter and prevents the proper removal of pollutants already there.

Step 3: To enhance indoor air quality, a range of purifiers, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and air filtration systems are available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Air Quality Index

o What Air Quality Index is safe to run in?

Excellent (0-25): The air is excellent. Exercise outdoors is secure.

Moderate (26-50): The air is in good condition. If you exercise outside, increased pollution levels may impact your breathing, especially if you have asthma or allergies.

o What Air Quality Index is safe for babies?

For sensitive people, a range of 101–150 micrograms per cubic meter is regarded as harmful. The elderly, people with established medical issues, kids, and infants are among the sensitive categories. So, 0-100 would be seen as secure.

Purify Your Air Today!

Contact one of our representatives today to discuss the Air Quality Index and how to improve your life and those around you.

Excellent commercial air purifying systems is what you can expect from Pacific Modular. Your safety is our priority!