How to protect yourself from air pollution, Part II


How is the level of air pollution measured?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses an Air Quality Index (AQI) to provide the public with an easy way of understanding air quality every day. AQI estimates air quality from 0 to 300.

The higher the value of AQI, the greater the concern. When AQI levels reach over 100, air quality is unhealthy. There is a lot of sites online where you can find more information on air pollution in specific areas.

When levels reach between 101 and 150, risk groups should reduce outdoor time and prolonged heavy workload as physical exercise increases air intake. When AQI reaches unhealthy levels of 151 to 200, everyone should limit exposure to the outside.

When levels reach between 201 and 300, this is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially those with heart disease. People at risk should avoid any outdoor activity.

What can I do to protect my family and myself?

Air pollution is highest during the day, so plan your outdoor activities early in the morning or late at night. Avoid walking or cycling on lively streets. If you are in traffic, circulate the air from the car by stopping the air entering from the outside.

If you're in a place where you cannot get away from the dirt, try putting a tissue on your mouth and nose to help filter the air.

Antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables can also help protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals caused by air pollution.

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