What does Air Quality Index mean?

Recently, there has been widespread news that the air quality in Jakarta is getting worse. Even compared to various cities around the world, the severity of the air in Jakarta is ranked second, the city with the worst pollution with a poor Air Quality Index.

So, what does the Air Quality Index mean?

Air Quality Index (Air Quality Index or abbreviated as AQI) is a standard measurement system used to measure how clean or polluted the air is in a certain area or location.

The AQI describes the level of air pollution and its impact on human health and the environment. AQI’s primary goal is to provide information to the public about current air quality and potential risks associated with breathing air in the region.

In fact, there are several factors that are generally used to calculate AQI including the concentration of various air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). .

Each of these pollutants has standard thresholds set by the regulatory environmental authorities. So, how do you calculate AQI?

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As an illustration, the steps in calculating AQI are as follows:

  1. Pollutant measurements: Air monitoring equipment located at various locations regularly measures air pollutant concentrations.
  2. Weighting: Each pollutant is given a weight according to the level of potential hazard to human health.
  3. Calculation of sub-indexes: For each pollutant, a sub-index is calculated based on the concentration of the pollutant in the air.
  4. AQI calculation: The final AQI is calculated taking into account the sub-indices of all measured pollutants. The AQI value is usually expressed on a numerical scale that ranges from 0 to 500, with categories indicating the level of air pollution.

Typically, the AQI scale is divided into the following categories:

  • 0-50: Good (Good)
  • 51-100: Medium (Moderate)
  • 101-150: Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
  • 151-200: Unhealthy (Unhealthy)
  • 201-300: Very Unhealthy (Very Unhealthy)
  • 301-500: Dangerous (Hazardous)

People can use the AQI to understand current air quality levels and take appropriate steps, such as reducing outdoor activities, avoiding exercising when the air is bad, or wearing protective masks when necessary.

AQI also helps governments and relevant authorities to take appropriate air pollution control measures to protect public health. So, what is the AQI scale in your city currently? Be careful guys, keep wearing masks.


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