Air Quality Designation: Update to the EPA AirNow standard

Posted on February 7th 2013
(re-edited on February 13th 2013)
Share: aqicn.org/faq/2013-02-07/air-quality-designation-update-to-the-epa-airnow-standard

For historic reason, the World Air Quality Index project has been using the China MEP (Ministry of Environmental Protection) designation for the air quality levels. This is now past history, and the designation will follow, from now on, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) AirNow standards.

The table below summarizes the differences in designation between the two standards, as well as the translations for the various languages.

AQI Range Old MEP Designation New EPA AirNow Designation New Chinese translation New Japanese translation New Korean translation New Russian translation Color coding
0-50 Excellent Good 파랑Среднее
51-100 Good Moderate 초록Неподходящее для особо восприимчивых
101-150 Lightly Polluted Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 轻度污染軽微汚染노랑Плохое
151-200 Moderately Polluted Unhealthy 中度污染軽度汚染주황Нездоровое
201-300 Heavily Polluted Very Unhealthy 中度污染中度汚染빨강Очень нездоровое
301-500 Severely Polluted Hazardous 重度污染重汚染갈색Опасное


Please note that for now, this is only the Designation for the website which is updated. The designation for the Android application will follow soon.

(中文版请点击此处 )


Click here to see all the FAQ entries
  • Nitrogen Dioxyde (NO2) in our atmosphere
  • Ozone AQI Scale update
  • Kriging Interpolation




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    About the Air Quality and Pollution Measurement:

    About the Air Quality Levels

    AQIAir Pollution LevelHealth ImplicationsCautionary Statement (for PM2.5)
    0 - 50GoodAir quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no riskNone
    51 -100ModerateAir quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
    101-150Unhealthy for Sensitive GroupsMembers of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease, such as asthma, should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
    151-200UnhealthyEveryone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effectsActive 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
    201-300Very UnhealthyHealth warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.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.
    300+HazardousHealth alert: everyone may experience more serious health effectsEveryone should avoid all outdoor exertion

    To know more about Air Quality and Pollution, check the wikipedia Air Quality topic or the airnow guide to Air Quality and Your Health.

    For very useful health advices of Beijing Doctor Richard Saint Cyr MD, check www.myhealthbeijing.com blog.


    Usage Notice: All the Air Quality data are unvalidated at the time of publication, and due to quality assurance these data may be amended, without notice, at any time. The World Air Quality Index project has exercised all reasonable skill and care in compiling the contents of this information and under no circumstances will the World Air Quality Index project team or its agents be liable in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss, injury or damage arising directly or indirectly from the supply of this data.



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