Now that Spare The Air season is underway, I want to help you understand our most important tool for determining when air pollution can have an effect on you, and whether it’s safe for us to exercise outside. This tool is called the Air Quality Index or AQI for short.
The AQI has six categories:
- Hazardous is 301 to 500: The entire population is more likely to experience serious health effects and should avoid all outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 301 to 500, it means air pollution is at its worst and we want to avoid being outdoors.
- Very Unhealthy is 201 to 300: Everyone may experience more serious health effects and should avoid all outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 201 to 300, it means air pollution is very bad and we don’t want to do anything outside that will make us breathe heavy.
- Unhealthy is 151 to 200: Everyone may begin to experience some harmful health effects and should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, especially members of the sensitive groups. When the AQI is 151 to 200, it means air pollution is bad and we should try not to do anything outside that requires a lot of running or will make us really tired.
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150: People with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk and should make sure they don’t exercise too much outside. When the AQI is 101 to 150, it means air pollution is a problem particularly for kids like us, our grandparents and our moms or friends’ moms who are pregnant. In addition, when the AQI is 126 or higher, you will hear a Spare The Air On a Spare The Air day, it’s up to us to remind our parents of ways to help reduce air pollution, such as reducing their driving (or not driving at all), carpooling or taking public transit.
- Moderate is 51 to 100: People who have a unique sensitivity to air pollution should consider limiting outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 51 to 100 those of us with asthma or heart or lung disease should avoid any outdoor activity that will make you tired.
- Good is 0 to 50: No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range. When the AQI is 0 to 50, it means it’s time to smile because we can play outside all day without having to worry about air pollution. My favorite days are when the AQI is in the Good range!
For more air quality information, browse my website http://www.aqmdscooter.com/.
And, don’t forget to ask your parents to download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app. They can use the app to check the daily air quality forecast and get current conditions at the air monitoring sites in our region: http://www.aqmdscooter.com/index.php/videos/%E2%80%8E.
You can also check my calendar to see where I will be visiting next.
Until next time!