How Air Quality Index Is Calculated

A pedestrian wears a pollution mask as she crosses a road in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. The national capital's air quality dropped to the season's worst after the Hindu festival of Diwali, but the situation was still better than the last three years, according to government agencies.Photo/Altaf Qadri)
The quality of air in our locality impacts our health and life. Similar to weather, the air quality can change from hour to hour. Like the weather is forecasted, air quality is also gauged and announced for the people to take decisions regarding their outdoor lives.

What is Air Quality Index?

Abbreviated as AQI, Air Quality Index is the scale in which air quality is reported locally. AQI tells us how good or bad the air is in our immediate environment. The four factors that are considered while calculating the AQI are the amount of ground level ozone, polluting particles, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide in the air.

How to interpret AQI?

AQI can be understood as a yardstick stretching from values 0 to 500. Higher AQI value will mean a greater level of pollution which will pose a greater health concern. For example, an AQI value of 50 will mean a good or harmless air quality which will have the least effect on the public health. On the other hand, AQI values more than 300 will mean the air quality is hazardous to health. The national air quality standard is considered as 100. This value will indicate a satisfactory quality of air. Air with AQI more than 100 is unhealthy for people. A little increase in AQI more than 100 will mean risks for people with sensitive health and as the value increases, the air can affect all people. Beyond 300, the air quality is highly hazardous for all people.



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