Air Quality Index

The Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District issues an AIR QUALITY INDEX 4 times daily during the weekdays. The Air Quality Index provides the current index, the elevated pollutant, the current category, and a short term forecast.

 Latest air quality data and forecasts
 Information from the KAIRE Network

We often hear a lot about the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. This kind of ozone protects us from harmful radiation. Stratospheric ozone is good, but ground-level ozone is harmful.

When people think of ground-level ozone, they usually picture a thick layer of smog over Los Angeles. They don't usually think of a Midwest summer day, typically hazy, sunny and hot.

WHAT EXACTLY IS GROUND-LEVEL OZONE?

Ground-level ozone is formed by a chemical reaction between volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen in the presence of sunlight and warm temperatures. The primary source of these are automobiles and industrial emissions. High ozone levels pose significant health risks to the elderly and young children, but even healthy adults may be affected. Here in Kentuckiana, ground-level ozone is a particular problem during the afternoons and early evenings between June and September.

Most of the pollutants that form ozone come from cars. Large factories account for another portion of the emissions. Small businesses such as printing plants, service stations, and auto body shops, and people using lawn mowers, paints, and cleaning solvents account for another portion of the emissions.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT THE AIR YOU BREATHE?

High ground-level ozone directly impacts our health and our economy. When ozone is breathed into the body, it reacts with the lung tissue. It can harm breathing passages, making it more difficult for the lungs to work. It also can cause eye and throat irritation and cause a greater susceptibility to infection.

If Kentuckiana continues to exceed federal standards, numerous costly restrictions - which will affect businesses and private citizens alike - will be required in our area. By making a few simple changes in our daily habits, we can maintain healthy air and a healthy economy.

When weather forecasts show favorable conditions for high ozone levels, the Kentuckiana Ozone Prevention Coalition will issue an Ozone Action Day advisory asking you to do your share for cleaner air.

YOUR GUIDE TO THE AIR QUALITY INDEX

Air Quality Index Graphic

CATEGORY AQI COLOR CODE HEALTH STATEMENTS
Good 1 - 50 Green No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.
Moderate 51-100 Yellow Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101-150 Orange Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Unhealthful 151 - 200 Red Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
Very Unhealthy 201-300 Maroon Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should avoid all outdoor exertion; everyone else, especially children, should limit outdoor exertion.

DO YOUR SHARE FOR CLEANER AIR

  • Ride the Bus - Call TARC at 585-1234
  • Share a Ride - call The Commuter Pool at 267-5400 or 1-800-VANRIDE
  • Walk or ride a bicycle if possible
  • Slow Down - Driving 55 mph instead of 65 mph reduces pollution by 10 percent
  • Avoid driving during peak hours - 7 to 9 AM and 4 to 6 PM
  • Keep your car/boat/lawn equipment properly maintained
  • Don't use drive-through windows at restaurants and banks. Enjoy the cool air inside


FOR MORE INFORMATION:

KAIRE Network
502-574-7275

Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District
502-574-6000 (Voice)
502-574-3319 (Air Quality Index)


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