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Improve the Air Quality This Summer

Frequently, you will hear meteorologists mention the air quality index (AQI) during the weather report. The AQI is a tool used to express the local air quality on a daily basis and help you determine if there are any health risks.

The AQI is expressed on a scale from 0 to 500; higher scores indicate greater levels of air pollution and health concerns. There are six AQI categories, ranging from “good” to “hazardous” and each level has a color associated with it to make it easy for people to quickly assess the AQI. Be cautious if the AQI is “code orange” or “code red”.

Some groups, such as children, older adults, and people with lung or heart related diseases are more sensitive to poor air quality, so they need to take extra precautions, such as:

  • Check the AQI in your area at www.airnow.gov.
  • Avoid prolonged periods or heavy outdoor activity

You can also take steps to improve the air quality index this summer, by:

  • Refueling your car after dusk
  • Limiting engine idling
  • Avoiding using gas powered lawn equipment
  • Conserving electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature
  • Combining trips or using public transportation

Find more ways you can improve the air quality this summer.