What is the Air Quality Index?
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a numerical indicator used to measure air quality in Vancouver and other major cities. It provides information on five key pollutants – ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide – allowing individuals to easily interpret air quality conditions. The index ranges from 0-500 with different colors assigned to each range: green for good air quality; yellow for moderate; orange for unhealthy; red for very unhealthy; and purple for hazardous. By understanding what these colors mean, you can better protect yourself by avoiding activities that would increase your exposure to poor air quality.
How Can Poor Air Quality Affect Your Health?
Poor air quality can have serious health implications not just in the present but over time as well. Prolonged exposure to high levels of airborne pollutants has been linked to an increased risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). In addition, it can lead to heart disease and stroke due to increased stress on your cardiovascular system. Even if you are healthy now, prolonged exposure could still put you at risk long-term so it’s important that you understand how the AQI relates directly to your health.
Understanding AQI Readings
To understand how current AQI readings might affect your health it’s important that you become familiar with them first. If there is an orange alert indicating unhealthy levels of pollution then it’s best practice not engage in strenuous outdoor activity until the alert changes back down into a lower level such as green or yellow which indicates better air conditions.. A more detailed breakdown of each level can be found below:
Green – 0-50: Good — no health impacts expected Yellow – 51-100 : Moderate — some people may experience slight irritation Orange – 101-150 : Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups — people with allergies or respiratory problems should limit outdoor activities Red – 151-200 : Unhealthy — everyone should avoid prolonged outdoor activity Purple – 201+ : Hazardous — everyone must stay indoors and avoid any physical exertion
Tips For Staying Safe During Poor Air Quality
When faced with poor air quality there are several steps that one can take in order minimize their chances of experiencing negative side effects from harmful pollutants:
1) Monitor local news reports daily – many media outlets report on current AQI readings along with safety tips related specifically towards children who may be more vulnerable than adults when exposed too polluted conditions outside . This will help keep up aware about local alerts and allow us plan accordingly depending upon our own personal needs during periods of bad weather/air pollution ; 2) Install indoor purifying systems – this doesn’t necessarily need large scale investments but something like using houseplants inside our homes which naturally remove certain toxins from the atmosphere we breath ; 3) Exercise indoors instead– try substituting gym sessions outdoors into home workouts during times where its deemed unsafe due too unfavorable atmospheric conditions outside ; 4) Wear protective gear when necessary– if absolutely essential egressing outdoors then wearing medical grade masks / face shields help protect against certain toxic particles which may exist within heavily polluted spaces . 5 ) Properly maintain vehicles– keeping cars properly maintained help reduce emissions output contributing even further towards improving overall atmospheric condition across urban centers . 6 )Limit use fireplaces/woodstoves– limiting burning wood sources helps create cleaner environment free from unnecessary smoke particles .”