About the AQHI

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is for everyone. The AQHI provides a number from 1 to 10 to indicate the level of relative health risk associated with local air quality.

Air Quality Health Index colour scale; 1 to 3, Low Risk; 4 to 6, Moderate Risk; 7 to 10, High Risk; 10+, Very High Risk

The higher the AQHI number, the greater the health risk and need to take precautions.

Occasionally during extreme pollution events, such as a forest fire smoke event, AQHI levels may reach 10 or 10+, indicating Very High Health Risk.

Planning Outdoor Activities with the AQHI

The AQHI is designed to help you make decisions to protect your health and the environment by:

  1. Limiting short-term exposure to air pollution
  2. Adjusting your outdoor activity during episodes of increased air pollution and encouraging physical activity outdoors on days when the AQHI is lower
  3. Reducing your personal contribution to air pollution

Each individual reacts differently to air pollution. The AQHI provides specific advice for people who are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution as well as the general public.

AQHI Forecasts

The AQHI forecasts health risk from air quality for tonight and tomorrow. Check the AQHI in your community before heading off to work or play, and use the forecasts to plan your activities, whether over the next hour or the next day.

AQHI Health Messages

Each level of health risk is associated with a pair of health messages for at risk and general populations. It suggests steps we can take to reduce our pollution exposure.

Health Risk Air Quality
Health Index
Health Messages
At Risk Population General Population
Low Risk 1 – 3 Enjoy your usual outdoor activities. Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.
Moderate Risk 4 – 6 Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you are experiencing symptoms. No need to modify your usual outdoor activities unless you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
High Risk 7 – 10 Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also take it easy. Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
Very High Risk Above 10 Avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

For more information on those who are at risk, see:

Related Information

Learn more about the AQHI with apps, fact sheets, videos and more!

 

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Updated: Mar 13, 2017