Get Outside…with the Air Quality Index !

During the warmer months, people tend to increase their exposure to air pollution because more people are outside more often- working in the yard, swimming, doing sports and summer camps, and camping.  

Just because you’re having a code orange AQI day in your area doesn’t mean you have to cancel what you’re doing outdoors.  Most times, you can just use the Air Quality Index to help plan your outdoor activities.

Finding the AQI is easy. It’s available on the Web, on many local TV weather forecasts, and through free e-mail tools and apps. Once you have the forecast for your local area, check the health recommendations to see how to reduce the amount of pollution you breathe in.

Let’s say that ozone air quality where you live is forecast to be code orange tomorrow. If you’re a runner – even if you’re healthy – the air quality can be harmful to you.  Reduce the amount of ozone you breathe in a few ways:  Plan your run for the morning, when ozone levels generally are lower; shorten your run, walk instead,  or run on a treadmill indoors.

On a day when particles are forecast to be at code orange or above, take similar steps if you have heart or lung disease. Do something less intense – like walking instead of running; take a shorter run; or reschedule your run for a time when air quality is better.

AQI recommendations apply to other outdoor activities, too – including activities like working in the garden! So on a poor air quality day, think about doing less-strenuous chores, like weeding instead of moving around heavy mulch.

Find your AQI forecast:

For Additional Air Quality Forecast Guidance from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), go to: http://airquality.weather.gov

Learn More About the AQI EPA.gov NOAA.gov