US Air Quality Index Facts and Stats

We’ve all heard of the Clean Air Act, but did you know it’s been around for just about 50 years now? It was started in 1963. In celebration of this upcoming anniversary, Oransi has put together an infographic looking at the Air Quality Index and some of the most common pollutants. Let’s start with the basics. What is the Air Quality Index, or AIQ? It is a metric that shows the local air quality based on four pollutants: ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. Below is a list showing the Air Quality Index (AIQ) value and associated quality and color code:

Air Quality Index Table Showing AQI values and scores

Fun Air Quality Index Fact: AQI readings are taken daily at over 1,000 locations across the US.

Let’s define some terms:

Ozone (O3) is a extremely reactive form of Oxygen (O2) that is a blueish color and has a pungent odor. It is a a major air pollutant in the lower atmosphere, but beneficial in the upper atmosphere.

Ozone Fact: California has the highest Ozone readings.

Particulates are particles that are likely to be breathed into lungs. The EPA measures the 2  most likely classifications of particles to be breathed in (2.5 microns and smaller & 2.5-10 microns).

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless odorless very toxic gas.

Carbon Monoxide Fact: Vehicle exhaust contributes to 75% of all carbon monoxide gas and up to 95% in urban areas.

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) is a toxic gas that is a major air pollutant in industrial areas. It is often produced when fuels such as oil and coal are burned.

To learn more about the Air Quality Index and Air Quality in the US, check out the infographic below.

Air Quality Index Statistics - Air Quality Facts

Chalara Dieback of Ash

As trees are vital to the UK ecosystem as they are the third most populant species of broadleaved tree in the UK. This infographic from Crowders tells us that the Ash tree contributes 129,000 hectares of woodland to the UK which create a habitat for more than 25% of Britain’s lichen. Further, these trees support more than 100 species of insects. 60 of these are extremely rare in the UK. As they are long lived trees, they are great for hole nesting birds such as wood peckers and the lesser stag beetles. Unfortunately, the trees are under attack from the Ash Dieback which has destroyed 90% of ash trees in Denmark in only 7 years. The infographic claims that the loss of the ash tree on this scale would be an environmental disaster – quoting The Operations Director of the Woodland Trust (Norman Starks).

Chalara Dieback of Ash Tree Infographic