Assess Your Air Quality

Filed under: General Health

I have written before about the importance of air quality to your health (Breathing Green, Indoor Air Pollution, Dangerous Dryer Sheets).  I recently came across a really cool tool to learn about the air quality for where you live.

I was reading my UMaine Today magazine, which highlights interesting research being done at the University (alas they haven’t been too interested in The Effects of Ecosystem Management on Wheat Composition), and came across

Your city gets an air quality score from 1-10, the higher the number the better.  It is impossible for any city to get a 9 or a 10 because global greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are at such high levels everywhere.  However a place like Seattle scores a 7, which is great.  A place like Auburn, Maine (where I live) scores a 5, which is decent.  A place like LA scores a 3, which sucks.

The website not only provides a score, but it provides an explanation as to its score as well possible negative health consequences from each of the 10 hazardous pollutants it uses to calculate air quality.

The goal of the website is to provide people with real-time information.  Too much of the focus of climate change research and advocacy has looked at what will happen 50 years from now.  That is a hard concept for people to worry about, because it is not right now.  This score is about right now, and having that knowledge to protect your health (and that of the environment) immediately.

There is a lot you can do even if your local air quality is substandard.  Get some HEPA filters for your home.  Get some plants for your home (I cover options on both of those on my Indoor Air Pollution post).  Plant some trees and greenery around your house.  Move to the suburbs where there is less traffic and more trees.  Decrease exposure to fragrances and strongly scented items.

Check out and let me know what you think!

I also wanted to mention that Mike Robertson is putting on his annual Midwest Performance Enhancement Seminar at his facility in Indy.  It is chock full of awesome presenters, including MR himself, Bill Hartman, Lee Taft, and Dan John to name a few.  If interested, definitely check it out.

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Posted on July 11th, 2012 by Brian St. Pierre


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  2. Hope Barron Says:

    The criteria used for screening substances for inclusion in the ARET lists were toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation. Substances were selected on the basis of their intrinsic properties only; no consideration was given to quantities released, the medium of release or quantities in the environment. As a consequence, no inference can be made about their relative risk. In addition, the grouping of substances into lists is not meant to imply that all substances within a list are of equal priority since each list represents a broad range of scores for the criteria.

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