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Broward County > Pollution Prevention > Air Quality > Air Monitoring > About Air Quality & the Air Quality Index

 

 

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At the request of the public, environmental agencies had for many years tried to express the quality of the air we breathe in a fashion that could be easily understood. Early on, there were numerous indices utilized across the country. These indices were, in many cases, suited to local environmental concerns, without regards to the comparability from region to region. This led to confusion when the citizens traveled around the country. To alleviate this confusion, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed the uniform Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) and subsequently the Air Quality Index (AQI), to be used by all agencies across the country.

The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health. Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in this country.

Each of the pollutants measured is compared to a table of concentration values to determine its sub-index AQI. When all of the sub-indices have been determined, the highest value sub-index is reported as the AQI. The index provides general information to the public about air quality and associated health effects.

When the AQI is reported as 50 or less, the AQI is said to be in the "Good" range. Between 51 and 100 the AQI is in the "Moderate" range. Above 100 the AQI is in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" range. The complete table is as follows:

AIR QUALITY

AQI

PROTECT YOUR HEALTH

Good

0-50

No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.

Moderate

51-100

Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.

Unhealthy for
Sensitive Groups

101-150

Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Unhealthy

151-200

Active children and adults and people with respiratory disease such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion: everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.

Very Unhealthy

201-300

Active children and adults and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.

Hazardous (Alert)

301-500

Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion, everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.

The Air Quality Program calculates the AQI every other hour, daily. This index is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the Computerized Local Air Index Reporting System (CLAIRE) by calling 954-519-1280.

2014 AIR QUALITY INDEX SUMMARY

MONTH

GOOD DAYS

MODERATE DAYS

UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUP DAYS

UNHEALTHY DAYS

JANUARY

29

2

0

0

FEBRUARY

28 0

0

0

MARCH

31

0

0

0

APRIL

24

6

0

0

MAY

28 3 0 0

JUNE

25 5 0 0

JULY

24

6

1

0

AUGUST

21 10 0 0

SEPTEMBER

25

5

0

0

OCTOBER

- - - -

NOVEMBER

-

-

-

-

DECEMBER

- - - -

TOTAL

235

37

1

0

PERCENT

86.08%

13.55%

0.37%

0%

2013 AIR QUALITY INDEX SUMMARY

MONTH

GOOD DAYS

MODERATE DAYS

UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUP DAYS

UNHEALTHY DAYS

JANUARY

29

2

0

0

FEBRUARY

28 0

0

0

MARCH

22

9

0

0

APRIL

30

0

0

0

MAY

24 7 0 0

JUNE

21 9 0 0

JULY

21

10

0

0

AUGUST

27 4 0 0

SEPTEMBER

28

2

0

0

OCTOBER

31 0 0 0

NOVEMBER

30

0

0

0

DECEMBER

31 0 0 0

TOTAL

322

43

0

0

PERCENT

88.22%

11.78%

0.00%

0%

2012 AIR QUALITY INDEX SUMMARY

MONTH

GOOD DAYS

MODERATE DAYS

UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUP DAYS

UNHEALTHY DAYS

JANUARY

29

2

0

0

FEBRUARY

29

0

0

0

MARCH

30

1

0

0

APRIL

25

5

1

0

MAY

30 0 0 0

JUNE

23 7 0 0

JULY

17

14

0

0

AUGUST

25 6 0 0

SEPTEMBER

29

1

0

0

OCTOBER

31 0 0 0

NOVEMBER

29

1

0

0

DECEMBER

31 0 0 0

TOTAL

328

37

1

0

PERCENT

89.62%

10.11%

0.27%

0%

*Please note that the final AQI summary has been revised to reflect QA Activites completed in February 2013. The final calculation of moderate days for PM2.5 has been reduced from 51 to 37.

AQI incorporates pollutants Ozone, Fine Particulate Matter and Carbon Monoxide.

Air Quality Index Summary Archive: 2001-2011

*About the Data-The air quality data used in these maps and to generate forecasts are collected using either federal reference or equivalent monitoring techniques or techniques approved by the state, local or tribal monitoring agencies. Since the information needed to make maps must be as "real-time" as possible, the data are displayed as soon as practical after the end of each hour. Although some preliminary data quality assessments are performed, the data as such are not fully verified and validated through the quality assurance procedures monitoring organizations use to officially submit and certify data on the EPA AQS(Air Quality System). Therefore, data are used on the AIRNow Web site only for the purpose of reporting the AQI. Information on the AIRNow web site is not used to formulate or support regulation, guidance or any other Agency decision or position.

Source: AirNow
 
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