The Air Quality Health Index or “AQHI” is a scale designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health.
It is a health protection tool that is designed to help you make decisions to protect your health by limiting short-term exposure to air pollution and adjusting your activity levels during increased levels of air pollution. It also provides advice on how you can improve the quality of the air you breathe.
This index pays particular attention to people who are sensitive to air pollution and provides them with advice on how to protect their health during air quality levels associated with low, moderate, high and very high health risks.
The AQHI communicates four primary things:
- Measures the air quality in relation to your health on a scale from 1 to 10. The higher the number, the greater the health risk associated with the air quality. When the amount of air pollution is very high, the number will be reported as 10+.
- Assigns a category that describes the level of health risk associated with the index reading (e.g. Low, Moderate, High, or Very High Health Risk).
- Provides health messages customized to each category for both the general population and the ‘at risk’ population.
- Shows current hourly AQHI readings and maximum forecast values for today, tonight and tomorrow.
The AQHI is designed to give you this information along with some suggestions on how you might adjust your activity levels depending on your individual health risk from air pollution.