Quality of Air Means Quality of Life

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 AirCompare - Health Concerns

AirCompare provides comparisons of air quality based on specific health conditions. Air quality is measured by the Air Quality Index (AQI) which is reported in values from 0 to 500. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern.

When AQI values are between 101 and 150 (code orange), members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. This is because they are more likely to be affected at lower air quality levels than the general public. For example, people with lung disease are at greater risk from exposure to ozone, while people with either lung disease or heart disease are at greater risk from exposure to particle pollution. The general public is not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range. The general public is more likely to be affected when the AQI values are above 150.

The chart below provides a summary of how different pollutants can affect health and outdoor activity when AQI values are between 101 and 150, or code orange.

Health Concern Pollutant and AQI Category

Ozone
 

Particle
Pollution

Sulfur
Dioxide

Carbon
Monoxide

Any
Pollutant

Code Orange Code Orange Code Orange Code Orange Code Red
Asthma or other Lung Disease
X
X
X
 
X
Heart Disease  
X
 
X
X
Children (with no specific health concern)
X
X
   
X
Older Adults (with no specific health concern)
X
X
   
X
Active Outdoors (with no specific health concern)
X
 
X
 
X
General Population (with no specific health concern)        
X

Learn more about the AQI and how it affects health

 

AIRNow is a government-backed program. Through AIRNow, EPA, NOAA, NPS, news media, tribal, state, and local agencies work together to report conditions for ozone and particle pollution. State, Local and Tribal Partners.
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