Wednesday, May 03, 2006

An Air Quality Primer

Hot weather is upon us, and soon we'll be checking the local paper to determine whether being outside is hazardous to our health. Every summer brings ozone alerts, issued when the level of ground-level ozone exceeds standards considered to be healthy. Meeting federal standards has become a quest for local governments due to the possibility of sanctions if the air quality does not improve.
In 2006, the American Lung Association (ALA) once again ranked Dallas/Fort Worth as the eighth most ozone-polluted metropolitan area in the country, and Tarrant County as the 11th most ozone-polluted county. It was the sixth consecutive year that the ALA gave the region a grade of “F” for air quality.
We'll look into the challenges for the DFW metro area in future posts. Let's begin with an introduction to the AQI (Air Quality Index). This index is compiled by the government and provides daily status on key pollutants: ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and two sizes of particulate matter (2.5 and 10 micrometers, respectively.) To read more about these pollutants and the effects they can have on your health, click here. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality posts results by metro area. If you click on the specific metro section, you can see the results for Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Tarrant counties, among others. Today's air quality in the DFW area was generally good.

1 comment:

Bradley Bowen said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date on this. I look forward to more posts. It's really sad to me how bad our air quality is in Texas.