Air quality indices

An aggregated evaluation of the pollutant load of the atmosphere across multiple constituents, generally developed to compare environmental conditions to biological outcomes with an emphasis on human health. The indices also provide a concise method of informing the general public regarding atmospheric conditions by incorporating a suite of pollutants into one single measure. The method of aggregation varies from index to index, with some emphasising the single pollutant observed at the highest/most threatening concentration, whereas others consider the effects of all pollutants simultaneously (Kyrkilis et al. 2007). In the US, the Air Quality Index is determined by the maximum concentration of ozone, particulate pollution, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide, where the concentration of each pollutant is normalized on a unitless 1–500 scale, where a value of 100 corresponds to the relevant national ambient air quality standard. The overall index value is set as that associated with the highest normalised score for any individual variable (Bishoiet al. 2009). A similar system based on the pollutant with the highest relative concentration is used in the UK, but values are converted to a 1–10 scale for communication to the public (Holgate 2011).

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *