Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

The AQHI is a national program and is a health protection tool that is designed to help you make informed decisions regarding the protection of 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 that you breathe. The AQHI is a scale from 1 to 10+ designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. The index provides advice to the general population and people who are particularly sensitive to air pollution during air quality levels associated with Low (1-3), Moderate (4-6), High (7-10) and Very High (10+) health risks. Newfoundland and Labrador generally experiences ‘good' air quality and consequently the AQHI are usually in the ‘Low' range for our province.

How is the AQHI Calculated?

The AQHI is calculated based on the relative risks associated with a combination of common air pollutants which are known to have an adverse effect on human health.  These pollutants include ground level ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5/PM10) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

Health
Risk
Air
Quality
Health
Index
Health Messages
At Risk Population* General Population
Low 1 - 3 Enjoy your usual outdoor activities. Ideal air quality for outdoor activities.
Moderate 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 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 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.

Information on the current and forecasted AQHI in your area can be found on Environment Canada's opens new windowwebsite or if you require additional information please call 709-729-4147.

Guidance Documents

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