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Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

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The Air Quality Health Index, or AQHI, is a tool designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. It will provide you with the information you need to protect your health by limiting short-term exposure, and adjusting your activity levels during air quality events. It is also intended to provide advice on actions you can take to improve the quality of the air you breathe, especially in urban areas.

The higher the AQHI number, the greater the health risk and need to take precautions. The index describes the level of health risk associated with this number as ‘low’, ‘moderate’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’, and suggests steps we can take to reduce our exposure.

The AQHI also forecasts health risks from air quality for today and tomorrow and provides associated health advice. The index does not measure the effects of pollen, heat or humidity on health.

You can refer to the AQHI to check the quality of outdoor air in your community before heading off to work or play, and you can use the forecasts to plan your activities, whether over the next hour or the next day.

Older adults, parents of children with asthma, and people suffering from heart or lung disease can use the index to assess the immediate risk air pollution poses to your health and take steps to lessen that risk.

Even if you’re relatively healthy, fit and active, you can consult the index to decide when and how much activity to engage in outdoors.

PLEASE NOTE: The three pollutants measured to calculate the AQHI do not include the reduced the sulphur compounds and volatile organic compounds that contribute to odour events experienced in several communities within the RMWB. 

W.B.E.A. is working through the Human Exposure Monitoring Program to characterize and quantify odours in the region. For more information, click here.

Below are some useful links related to the Air Quality Health Index for Albertan's: