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The Six Levels Of Air Quality

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Following the local air quality is an important resource for those who struggle with health concerns such as asthma, allergies, and other respiratory and immune issues. 

 

Throughout our blog posts, we’ve talked extensively about the importance of indoor air quality, so if you haven’t read them already start, with the following blogs as a good resource! 

 

 

Now that you have a solid foundation on indoor air quality, let’s tackle the topic of the Air Quality Index. 

At Pionair, healthy indoor air is what we provide to countless homes and businesses nationwide! We have a stake in your health and it’s important to not only give you the optimal air purifier products but to provide you with all the resources you need to better educate yourself on everything related air quality. 

 

The Air Quality Index (AQI)

 

If you’re not familiar with the AQI, it’s a great resource that implements a standardized system to monitor both state and local air pollution levels. It’s a valuable tool to use to not only plan your outdoor activities but to better plan ahead and manage your indoor air quality — after all, when we leave windows open or have an old home, outdoor air pollution can creep its way in! 

 

Why pay attention to the AQI?

 

Whether you’re in excellent health or you’re facing some major health issues, paying attention to the AQI only benefits your health. 

 

For healthy people, if you love running, hiking, or just being outdoors, a high AQI range can directly impact your health because you’re potentially breathing in a large amount of pollution, so being able to assess the AQI before you go out, is a huge benefit.  

 

And, if you’re managing a health issue such as asthma or bronchitis, knowing an AQI range can mean the difference between going out and running errands to staying indoors and keeping your Smart Pointe air purification on and cycling!

 

Air Quality Index Basics (AQI)

 

You’ve likely heard the news report “high levels of particle pollution” or to remain indoors because the “local air quality is at unhealthy levels.” The AQI aims to provide citizens the information on air quality they need to make informed decisions on how to better support and protect their health.  Let’s dive into how the AQI works. 

 

How The AQI Works

 

The AQI is a range of values from 0 to 500 and is broken further into six levels that determine the air quality conditions. The greater the AQI value, the greater the health concern or air pollution is. 

 

The level to protect the public’s health, determined by the Environmental Protection Agency EPA, is 100 — 50 distinguishes good air quality and anything over 300, is represented as hazardous. 

 

 

The Ranges Of AQI 

Good Air Quality

 

Good air quality by the AQI is represented by a value ranging from 0 to 50. This air is healthy and safe and generally don’t pose any health risks. 

 

Moderate Air Quality

 

A moderate air quality range is represented by a value between 51 and 100. This is an acceptable range as determined by the EPA, however, there is still a good amount of pollution present that could pose an issue for those who are sensitive or have health issues. 

 

Harmful For Sensitive Groups

 

An AQI value of 101 to 150 is potentially unhealthy for sensitive groups, yet the general public still largely goes unaffected. 

 

A sensitive group is defined as people with heart or lung disease, children, older adults, and those active outdoors. 

 

Harmful

 

When AQI ranges begin to elevate between 151 and 200, many people — especially sensitive groups — feel and experience the effects. 

 

Very Unhealthy

 

Values between 201 and 300 are considered very unhealthy and typically includes everyone as experiencing or feeling more serious health effects

 

Hazardous

 

Anything 300 or more is considered a hazardous air quality complete with health warnings and emergency conditions — the entire population is affected.  

 

But where do the AQI numbers come from?

 

Every day AQI levels are measured across the nation in roughly 1,000 different locations that include:

 

  • Ground-level ozone
  • Particle pollution
  • Carbon monoxide 
  • Sulfur dioxide

 

All of these levels are tested using standard formulas from the EPA. In smaller cities (less than 350,000) the AQI is reported as a courtesy while larger populations (350,000 and above) are required to report it daily. Many locations also report the next day or a weekly AQI forecast to help residents prepare. 

 

Observing the air quality is important to better plan your activities and adjust any errands or plans that involve you going outside — especially if you have health concerns. The AQI is a great resource to follow that provides you practical values along with the associated level of health concern so you can make adjustments accordingly. 

 

Don’t forget that poor outdoor air quality can seep into the indoors! Protect your indoor air quality with the help of Pionair today!