AQI: Air Quality Index: Uses, Human Hair, Dust, Pollen and Mold

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AQI

Air Quality Index

Air Quality Index

  • Air Quality Index is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Mission.

  • It is a colour coded index which is a part of Government’s mission to improve the culture of cleanliness and helps public to aware the quality of Air which they breathe.

AQI Does Not Measure the Carbon Dioxide Levels

  • Air Quality Index is a tool for effective communication of air quality status to people in terms, which are easy to understand. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number (index value), nomenclature and color.

  • There are six AQI categories, namely Good + Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. Each of these categories is decided based on ambient concentration values of air pollutants and their likely health impacts (known as health breakpoints). AQ sub-index and health breakpoints are evolved for eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hours) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.

AQI – Uses

  • Particulate Matter PM 10 is the particulate matter is less than 10 microns in diameter and PM 2.5 is particulate matter of 2.5 microns in diameter.

  • Particulate Matter has the capability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood stream and can cause cardiovascular, cerebral vascular and respiratory problems.

  • According to the WHO’s international Agency for research on cancer (IARC) stated that the main cause for lung cancer is particulate matter.

  • Resource Allocation: allocation funds to assist and determining priorities, use the funds in air pollution control strategies.

  • Ranking of locations: Based on the concentration of air pollutants in a particular location city can categorised.

  • Enforcement of standards: help in identifying faulty standards and inadequate monitoring programs.

  • Trend analysis: To determine changes in air quality, these changes occurred over a specified period, which enables forecasting of air quality tracking the behaviour of pollutants and plan pollution control measures according to it.

  • Public Information: aware the public about the pollution levels which will help them to take precautions.

  • It will modify the public daily activities.

  • Scientific Research: With the help of data from AQI, researchers can study some of the environmental phenomena like contribution of individual pollutants, sources to overall air quality pollution.

  • AQI is useful for general public to aware the quality of air in a simplified manner.

  • Decision makers to bring policies to curb the air pollution and know the trend of events for scientists who can engage in scientific research using air quality data concentration of pollutants.

PM 10 and PM 2.5

  • Human Hair – 50-70 microns

  • PM 10 – Dust, Pollen, Mold

  • PM 2.5 – Combustion particles, metals, organic compounds

  • Particulate Matter PM 10 is the particulate matter is less than 10 microns in diameter and PM 2.5 is particulate matter of 2.5 microns in diameter.

  • Particulate Matter has the capability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood stream and can cause cardiovascular, cerebral vascular and respiratory problems.

  • According to the WHO’s international Agency for research on cancer (IARC) stated that the main cause for lung cancer is particulate matter.

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