High Levels of PM2.5 in the Air
AQI shows extremely high levels of PM2.5. What does it mean?
When the AQI (Air Quality Index) in your area shows extremely high levels of PM2.5 or your PurpleAir sensor shows a health alert, it means that pollution is hazardous at these levels. You should take steps to reduce your exposure.
At these PM2.5 levels, everyone needs to protect themselves against pollution. People with heart or lung diseases, older adults, and children are more likely to be affected.
If you belong to an at-risk group, it is advisable not to wait until there is a health alert. It is good to monitor the air quality frequently to reduce exposure.
How to Know if Particle Pollution is Affecting Me?
Even if you are a healthy person, you can experience temporary symptoms. Stay alert for irritation in eyes, nose, and throat. You can also experience coughing with or without phlegm, chest tightness and shortness of breath. As soon as the air quality improves, these symptoms should decrease until completely dissapear.
If you have a lung disease, heart or vascular disease, PM2.5 exposure can cause important complications, even in a short period of time. It is best to keep an eye for symptoms and do not assume your are healthy just for the lack of them. Talk to your doctor and ensure to follow their instructions.
Steps to reduce exposure
- Stay indoors in an area with filtered air. Consider purchasing an air cleaner if you live in a room with a high PM concentration.
- Keep your activity levels low. Limit activities that make you breathe faster or deeper.
- Create a clean room for sleeping. If that room has windows, keep them closed.
- Limit activities inside your house that could increase pollution, such as lighting wood fireplaces, candles or incense, and avoid vacuuming.
- Have an air cleaner if possible. Do not select an air cleaner if it works by generating ozone, this will increase pollution inside your home.
Air conditions can change quickly. Keep an eye on the PurpleAir map to see when the conditions in your area have changed with real-time data.