Every year there are more and more air quality alert days. People who monitor environmental behaviors know that pollution is growing every day. Biggest problem represents the industry, but each individual is contributing to the high levels of pollution.
Every day we make a choice to travel to work with a bicycle or car, and people have become lazy and always use a car or other type of vehicle that only spreads pollution. Electric cars will help with that, but they are also not 100% environmentally friendly.
Because of our way of living we have air quality alerts. Air quality alert is when pollution hits one of the levels that are hazardous to some people. Usually, that alert is sent between yellow and orange level. On those levels, people with respiratory problems can have health issues, and because of that, the Environmental Protection Agency sends alerts. Usually, alerts are sent through radio, television, news, social media and other public ways to tell people about air pollution. If you hear about air pollution near your place, you should visit airnow.gov and see the real-time monitor of the air.
Meaning of Air Quality Index
Air Quality Index is a measurement developed by the Environmental protection Agency. By Air Quality Index every person can understand how high is the pollution and if they should be concerned. There are six levels of pollution, each of the level having its own range and color.
Green Color 0 to 50 range
Green color represents the safest air quality. This color guarantees that even people with respiratory problems can hang out outside and breath fresh, clean air. But it is highly recommendable to watch the live air quality monitoring because the situation in the air can change fast.
Yellow Color 51 to 100 range
The yellow color is also an acceptable level, and you can still hang out, but sensitive people should stay inside, or they may have some reactions if they stay outside.
Orange Color 101 to 150
Orange color represents unhealthy air and people who are sensitive need to stay inside and fresh breath air. If they stay outside, they will have reactions to the bad air. Children, elders and everyone who have any kind of problem with lungs should avoid breathing orange level air.
Red Color 151 to 200
Everyone needs to run and avoid being outside when the air quality level is in the red zone. Sensitive people need to make sure that this polluted air did not enter their homes.
Purple Color 201 to 300
Purple color means that the outside air is very unhealthy. Children and older people must stay in the room with clean air. It is not recommended for anyone to stay outside without a gas mask.
Dark Red 301+
Hazardous air starts over 300, and that means that if you were breathing hazardous air, you would need to seek medical attention.
What are Main Air Pollutants?
Every state and big cities need to report the Air Quality Index. The importance of reporting the Air Quality Index is so big that even smaller cities started to report it.
EPA is testing air for four main pollutants: Ground Level Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Particulate Matter and Sulfur Dioxide.
Ground Level Ozone
Ozone is natural gas which is essential to us because in a stratosphere this gas is preventing UV lights from hitting the surface of the earth. UV lights are dangerous, and if a human being is exposed to UV rays, he can get cancer. Ground Level Ozone is dangerous gas that stays on the ground and can make people cough, reduce lung efficiency, trigger asthma and even get people really sick. Vehicles, industry and burning fossil fuels are the main reason this gas can get to a high pollution level. If you live in a big city with lots of vehicles, you should be aware of this pollution.
CO is one of the most dangerous gases that takes lives every year. CO is also released by the cars and burning of fossil fuel. But even wildfires, especially in the winter can cause high levels of CO. This gas is odorless as well as colorless, and people cannot tell if there is a high level of CO in the air. The only way to make sure if this gas is in the air in high concentration is by watching real-time air quality monitoring.
Particulate matter is also dangerous pollution because the small particles can enter our lungs and cause various problems to our health. PM10 is a label for a particles that are between 2.5 and 10 micrometers. PM10 can be created by dust on the road or if there is some crushing industry like sawmill near your place. PM2.5 is much dangerous particle because it is so small that can enter our bloodstream and by that also enter into vital organs. PM2.5 is mostly created by industrial activity.
Sulfur dioxide is created when the industry is burning oil or coal. They release gas into the air, and if that power plant is near us, it may cause severe pollution in the air. Sulfur dioxide can also help in creating the most dangerous PM2.5 particles.
What You Should do When Air Quality is Poor
As soon as you see an alert in your are that say that the Air Quality Index is higher than orange you need to start preparing for the worse. For orange, red and purple level you can still stay in the zone. But you need to prepare yourself. You need to stay inside, on the orange level you can maybe get outside for a short time but be careful. Shut all windows and doors and turn on air purifier. An air purifier will make sure that the air locked inside the room is fresh and clean. An air purifier is one of the best ways to naturally purify home air.
On a hazardous level or so-called dark red level the best way to survive this kind of pollution without consequences is to move to another city at least until pollution level doesn’t drop to a less dangerous level.
Using an Air Purifier When Air Quality is Poor
As you see there is no other way to keep your home fresh and free from pollution if you live in a high pollution zone other than an air purifier. An air purifier is the most natural way and the only way to keep the home air clean and fresh. The only thing you need to make sure is not to let the outside polluted air entering your home.
Air quality will be a significant concern in the following years since nothing big is done about pollution. Government just wants profit, and they are ignoring environmental problems. It is you who needs to protect yourself because the Government will not help you. The only good thing you get from Government is a real-time Air Quality Index which you can watch at any time over at airnow.gov.