Why this Air Pollution Assessment Model Works for You


Search for more.


What makes an air pollution assessment model a necessity?

Picture of NOx

Air pollution varies from day to day with the weather conditions and the emissions of pollutants from cars and factories,

and sometimes reaches hazardous levels. It has also become important to monitor the quality of the air at regular times in many areas.

In fact, certain components of air pollution, such as ozone, make it necessary to receive continuous data from air quality management services.

We used to measure air pollution and report a number called the Pollutant Standards Index, or PSI.

Then, in the States, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, replaced this one with a dimensionless number known as the Air Quality Index or AQI.  This is also known as Air Quality Health Index, AQHI.

The U.S. has determined an air quality standard, a threshold concentration for each polluting substance, below which it is deemed relatively harmless. The AQI expresses the pollutant's concentration as a percentage of that standard.

If that concentration is equal to the guideline, it will be assigned an AQI of 100 for that particular measurement. Technically, you could report an Air Quality Index for every contaminant monitored at each station. But we usually just give an overall AQI, equal to the highest percentage assigned to any constituent.

In this case, the triggering ingredient is also identified.

Air quality problems

Air Pollution Assessment Model

If you live in an area that uses the AQI as an air pollution assessment model, you will see that sometimes the number goes above 100.

This earmarks an unhealthy situation.

An AQI between 101 and 150 indicates that active people, particularly children, and those with conditions like asthma should try to stay indoors.

Outdoor exertion can cause people to inhale too much of the pollution in the air. And suffer respiratory problems because of it.

Higher AQI's alert us to even more dangerous conditions. One large study of the effect of air pollution on children's health began in 1992. Over 5000 children were studied, ranging from fourth grade through high school graduation.

The pollutants that were found to be the most damaging to their lungs were acidic vapors, elemental carbon, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter (dust). Ozone was also found to be harmful to those children who participated in outdoor sports, causing some to develop asthma.

So, What's an Air Pollution Assessment Model Good For?

Have a look at this amusing and informative article on interpreting the Air Quality Index.

The AQI provides citizens with a simple air pollution assessment model that keeps them informed of changes in the air quality. By quickly checking this air quality risk assessment, people can know how to take steps to protect themselves and their kids from acute dangers of air pollution.

One more thing. Other types of models, such as the most recent version of AERMOD or CALPUFF, predict the dispersion of air pollution from factories and other sources and determine the potential for problems in the surrounding areas. These models will become more important over time.

If your business has emissions and needs this type of air quality modelling performed for research or regulatory reasons, please contact Barry at 403-547-7557 to find out what we can do for you.

Go back from Air Pollution Assessment Model to the Solution Global Warming web page or visit the Stuff in the Air Air homepage.

Search this site for more information now.

New! Comments

Do you like what you see here? Please let us know in the box below.

Understand this method of assessing air pollution.  

It helps us make smart decisions.



Are you concerned about Air Pollution in your area?

Maybe modelling air pollution will get you the answers you need for this problem.

That's what I do full-time.  Try it.



Have your Say...

on the StuffintheAir         facebook page

See the newsletter chronicle. 




Catch me at Trafeze