The quality of Air that we breath is often in news these days for the wrong reasons. It’s surprising how such an essential and basic component of healthy living has been so blatantly compromised in urban areas.
If you often workout outdoors or commute long distances for work, it’s imperative that you keep a check on the Air Quality in your area. Your morning run could be doing you more harm than good.
The Air Quality is simplified and projected as AQI or Air quality index. The closer you are to Zero the better.
How to judge Air quality based on Air Quality Index (AQI)?
Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number that indicates Air Quality after taking into account 5 pollutants: Ozone, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulphur Dioxide, PM2.5 particles, and PM 10 particles.
If you want to keep tabs on the Air Quality in your city, AQI is the best means. Here is how you can judge Air Quality based on AQI:
Air Quality Index Scale (AQICN. Org):
|AQI||Air Pollution Level||Health Implications|
|0 – 50||Good||No risk|
|51 -100||Moderate||Air quality is acceptable, there may be a moderate health concern for sensitive people.|
|101-150||Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups||Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.|
|151-200||Unhealthy||Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects|
|201-300||Very Unhealthy||Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.|
|300+||Hazardous||Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects|
Ways to check Air Quality in your area
1. Google Search Card
Google shows Air Quality for key cities in a dedicated search card. All you need to do is type keywords like “Air Quality <City name> or AQI <Citi name> and you will see a comprehensive card with AQI index.
You will also find health advice and cautionary warnings when the Air Quality is poor. The Google Air Quality Card, however, won’t show in the search when the Air Quality of a particular city is already being talked about in the news. In such case, you will see Google News snippets at the top.
2. Using Apps and Widgets to monitor real-time air quality
Wondering what are the best apps you can use to monitor AQI? Well, there are numerous apps that you can use to monitor real-time Air Quality, but the two that we often use are Breezometer and AirVisual.
Air Visual gives you 7 days Air quality forecast and clubs data from different sources. You can also place a home screen widget showing AQI for your city or region using the app.
Popular Apps for Air quality updates:
- Airvisuals – Playstore | iOS
- Plume Air Report – Playstore | iOS
- Sh**t! I Smoke – Playstore | iOS
- Breezometer – Playstore
3. Add Home Screen Shortcuts for reliable Air tracking Website.
There are several websites that you can use to accurately track Air Quality. One reliable website that we prefer is Aqicn.org.
Aqicn details concentration of different pollutants in your region and sums it up with the real-time AQI.
The easier way to track the website home screen shortcut. All popular browsers have the option to add page shortcuts to the home screen. Here is how you can do it on chrome.
Open the webpage for your city in Google chrome, Tap on the triple dot menu icon, and then select “Add to home”. That’s it.
4. Access official records from Government run Pollution monitor Centers [For India]
If you live in India, you can also access government data detailing the concentration of different pollutants in the Air.
- To do so, just visit the Central Pollution Control Board official page.
- Now press CTRL + k to Zoom in the map and tap on the station closest to your area.
4 Ways to check Air Quality in India on your phones
These are some effective means of monitoring Air Quality in your area. If you have kids or elderly at home, we’d recommend that you check the AQI for your city before they engage in outdoor activities. You can use the knowledge in making decisions like whether to ride a bike to work or use public transport, whether to skip cardio or avoid Gym altogether and as such.