What Is Air Quality Index (AQI)?

Air quality indicator (AQI) is an indicator of daily air quality reporting. It is a way of how air pollution affects a person’s health in the short term. The purpose of AQI is to help people know how local air quality affects their health. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates AQI to identify five basic air pollutants, on which national air standards are established to protect public health.

1. Ground-level ozone

2. Particle contamination / particle matter (PM2.5 / pm 10)

3. Carbon Monoxide

4. Sulfur dioxide

5. Nitrogen dioxide

The higher the value of AQI, the higher the level of air pollution and the increase in health concerns. The concept of AQI has been widely used in many developed countries over the past three decades. AQI quickly distributes air quality data in real-time.

The National Air Quality Index (AQI) in India was launched on 17 September 2014 in New Delhi under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan by Environment Minister Shri PrakashJavadekar. The air quality indicator is made up of 8 pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb).

Air quality indicator measures air quality. There are 6 air categories made in this air quality indicator.

As air quality deteriorates, so does the air quality from good to bad rather than worse.

Air pollution means the amount of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), and Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the air exceeds the conditions set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In cities such as Delhi, the main components of air pollution are the particles of PM 2.5 and PM 10 present in the air. When the level of these particles rises in the air, it causes difficulty in breathing, irritation of the eyes, etc.

According to Berkeley Earth, a scientific research team; breathing in air with a content of PM2.5 between 950 to 1,000 is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day.

How is AQI calculated?

Countries are using different point scales to report air quality. For example, the United States uses an average of 500 points, where a ratio of between 0 and 50 is considered positive. An average of 301 to 500 is considered a risk. India also follows an average of 500 points. Every day observers record the concentration of serious pollution. These green estimates are converted to a different AQI value for each pollution (ozone level, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide) using standard formulas produced by EPA. The highest number of these AQIs is reported as the AQI value for that day.

Air Quality Index Categories

Good (0-50) – Low impact

Satisfactory (51-100) – May cause mild respiratory distress in critical people.

Modestly contaminated (101-200) – It can cause respiratory distress in people with lung diseases such as asthma, and discomfort in people with heart disease, children and adults.

Negative (201-300) – May cause respiratory distress in people with prolonged exposure, and discomfort in people with heart disease

Worst (301-400) – May cause respiratory illness in humans with prolonged exposure. The effect can be most noticeable in people with lung and heart disease.

Severe (401-500) – Can cause respiratory problems in healthy people, as well as serious health problems for people with lung / heart disease. Difficulty can occur even during light physical activity.

Evaluating the air quality index on all possible time zones

Other air quality indicators assess the concentration of air pollution on a one-hour, eight-hour, or 24-hour scale (including measuring and measuring appropriate measurements). Breeze Technologies takes one step further by using all standard time frames (an eight-hour time frame currently used only for carbon monoxide concentration tests.

While it may be acceptable for people to be exposed to high concentrations for a while, this may not be the case over time. Because of those pollution thresholds can vary between different time scales; the overall full-time air quality indicator may be worse than each air quality indicator. The 1-hour, 8-hour, and 24-hour benchmark benchmarks provide more accurate air quality information, which allows individuals and governments to make better health and safety decisions.

Our air quality index is calculated based on the average of all polluted pollutants measured in full hour, eight full hours, or full day. To calculate the air quality indicator for the hour, we are in the middle of at least 90 rated data points from the full hour (e.g. between 09:00 am and 10:00 AM). A minimum of 18 hours is used to create a daily average.

There are still limitations: With the current lack of scientific and medical data on the effects of different concentrations on human health over a while, differences between 1 hour, 8 hours, and 24-hour test levels are not present in all pollutants. We are working with scientists and legislatures around the world to complete the testing standards for all pollutants and timeframes in the pursuit of scientific excellence and excellence. Currently, only the contamination parameters of particles (PM10 and PM2.5) differ between the average of one hour and the average of 24 hours. Depending on the nature of the science quo, the limitations are the same as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, and organic compounds, whether they are tested for one hour or 24 hours.

Objectives of Air Quality Index (AQI)

  • Comparing air quality conditions in different areas / cities.
  • It is also useful for identifying incorrect standards and inadequate monitoring systems.
  • AQI helps to analyze changes in air quality (improvement or deterioration).
  • AQI informs the public about environmental conditions. It is especially useful for people suffering from diseases that are exacerbated or caused by air pollution.

Who is most at risk of air pollution?

  •  Patient with lung diseases, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.
  •  Children, including teenagers.
  •  Working people of all ages do not exercise or work outdoors.
  •  Some healthy people are very sensitive to ozone.

Measures to Control Air Pollution

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) run the National Air Monitoring Program (NAMP) which includes 240 cities in the country with more than 342 monitoring stations.

The government has taken some measures to control air pollution in New Delhi, including promoting CNG-based transportation in terms of fuel policy, using the Odd-Even formula, spraying water on trees, temporary bans on construction projects, mechanical road cleaning, strengthening public transport, to stop the operation of coal-fired power projects, etc.

Finally, it would be wise to say that it is not the proper practice to blame the government for all the problems, the participation of the people is very important to solve any problem.

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