Air Quality Essentials

Particulate Matter (PM) levels and AQI

An air quality index (AQI) is used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. Public health risks increase as the AQI rises.

Different countries have their own air quality indices, corresponding to different national air quality standards. Some of these are the Air Quality Health Index (Canada), the Air Pollution Index (Malaysia), and the Pollutant Standards Index (Singapore).

Europe: EAQI

In November 2017, the European Environment Agency announced the European Air Quality Index (EAQI) and started encouraging its use on websites and for other ways of informing the public about air quality. The index ranges from "Good" to "Extremely poor" for each pollutant category, offering health advice based on the index level.

United States: AQI

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed an Air Quality Index that is used to report air quality. This AQI is divided into six categories indicating increasing levels of health concern. An AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality and below 50 the air quality is good.

EPA.GOV - Particulate Matter (PM) Pollution

What is Air Quality Score (AQS)?