The air quality index (AQI) is a generic indicator for reporting air quality and its effects on health in a given location. It indicates the existing level of contamination at a location, its potential health effects and the recommendations that must be followed to protect air quality.
At Eltiempo.es we follow the method used by the EPA (American Environmental Protection Agency) to calculate the air quality index. By applying its formulas, we can calculate the air quality index for each pollutant, depending on its concentration. When we have calculated the indices for each pollutant, we select the one with the most unfavorable value. That value is then considered to be the air quality index for that moment.
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Good. Air quality is satisfactory and does not pose a health risk or such health risk is very small.
Moderate. Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be moderate health concern for a small number of the population due to certain polluting agents. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience the symptoms of a respiratory condition.
Moderate sensitive groups. Members of sensitive groups may experience effects on their health. This implies that they are very likely to be affected by lower pollution levels. For example, people with lung diseases, the elderly and children are at greater risk when exposed to ozone, while people with lung or heart disease are at greater risk when exposed to particulate contamination. This level of contamination does not represent adverse health conditions for the general public.
Unhealthy. Anyone can start to experience effects on their health. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious effects on their health.
Very unhealthy. At this level, a health emergency warning must be issued in order to prevent effects on the health of the entire population since everyone may experience negative effects on their health.
Hazardous for health. Hazardous values; it is very likely that the entire population will experience serious effects on their health. A health alert should be issued.
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