[Update: Seems obvious, but the studies also show cigarette smokers are at higher risk from PM 2.5 pollution.]
In December 2012, EPA finalized a little-noticed change in what is “GOOD” air.
EPA lowered the upper end of the range for the “GOOD” AQI category by setting it at the level of the revised annual PM 2.5 standard (12.0μg/m3). This revision is final and takes effect nationwide March 18, 2013.
Download revised AQI PM 2.5 chart with sources:
Download revised AQI PM 2.5 chart without sources (cropped):
The AQI is EPA’s color-coded tool for telling the public how clean or polluted the air is and steps to take to reduce daily exposure to air pollution.
The best way to protect yourself and your children: Get out of the smoke.
Clean Air Fairbanks is not convinced by EPA’s recommendation to hide out inside. Air exchange ventilation systems, common in Fairbanks homes and office buildings, are designed to replace stale indoor air with clean outdoor air. Often during the winter in Fairbanks and North Pole neighborhoods, clean air is a hazy memory. When air outside is polluted, all ventilators can do is make the inside air just as bad as what’s outside.
No Safe Exposure Level:
“Using a variety of statistical methods, the concentration-response curve was found to be indistinguishable from linear, and, therefore, little evidence was observed to suggest that a threshold exists in the association between long-term exposure to PM2.5 and the risk of death.” – Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter 2009, 2-25.
No wonder Watershed School parents are growing concerned.
View the previous AQI chart, now out of date:
>> Link to PDF: Air Quality Index for 24-hour Fine Particle Pollution, 2009-2012
>> Link to JPG: Air Quality Index for 24-hour Fine Particle Pollution, 2009-2012