Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution
Harmful particle pollution is one of our nation’s most common air pollutants. Use the chart below to help reduce your exposure and protect your health. For your local air quality forecast, visit www.airnow.gov.
|Air Quality Index||Who Needs to be Concerned?||What Should I Do?|
|It’s a great day to be active outside.|
|Some people who may be unusually sensitive to particle pollution.||Unusually sensitive people: Consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. These are signs to take it easier.
Everyone else: It’s a good day to be active outside.
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children and teenagers.||Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. It’s OK to be active outside, but take more breaks and do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.
People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy.
If you have heart disease: Symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath, or unusual fatigue may indicate a serious problem. If you have any of these, contact your heath care provider.
151 to 200
|Everyone||Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when the air quality is better.
Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Take more breaks during all outdoor activities.
|Everyone||Sensitive groups: Avoid all physical activity outdoors. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when air quality is better.
Everyone else: Avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Consider moving activities indoors or rescheduling to a time when air quality is better.
|Everyone||Everyone: Avoid all physical activity outdoors.
Sensitive groups: Remain indoors and keep activity levels low. Follow tips for keeping particle levels low indoors.
Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.
Key Facts to Know About Particle Pollution:
What is particle pollution?Particle pollution comes from many different types of sources. Fine particles (2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller) include power plants, industrial processes, vehicle tailpipes, woodstoves, and wildfires. Coarse particles (between 2.5 and 10 micrometers) come from crushing and grinding operations, road dust, and some agricultural operations.
Why is particle pollution a problem?
Particle pollution is linked to a number of health problems, including coughing, wheezing, reduced lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. It also is linked to early death.
Do I need to be concerned?
While it’s always smart to pay attention to air quality where you live, some people may be at greater risk from particle pollution. They include:
How can I protect myself?
Use AQI forecasts to plan outdoor activities. On days when the AQI forecast is unhealthy, take simple steps to reduce your exposure:
When particle levels are high outdoors, they can be high indoors – unless the building has a good filtration system.
Keep particles lower indoors:
Can I help reduce particle pollution?
Yes! Here are a few tips.
|Office of Air and Radiation (6301A)|