Australian Air Quality: Comparison with the US EPA AQI scale.

Posted on September 6th 2014
Share: aqicn.org/faq/2014-09-06/australian-air-quality-comparison-with-the-us-epa-aqi-scale

The Air Quality data for Perth and Western Australia is finally available after a long waiting time: The department of Environmental Regulation (DER) from the governement of Western Australia, is now publishing the data on their site: der.wa.gov.au/your-environment/air. While the link to the DEC site is still not working, the feed can be accessed from this new page .

However, unlike the other territories in Australia, WA DER is not providing the readings in raw ppm and µg/m3, but directly in AQI. The AQI scale used by the WA DER is not the same as the one from the US EPA, which we are using for all the stations reported on the World Air Quality Index project. So this aim of the FAQ entry is to explain how the convertion between the two AQI scales is done.

oOo

The WA DER AQI scale is based on the "National Environment Protection (Ambient Air Quality) Measure standards and goals" (available form this link and this other link), which is defined in the table below. Based on this standard, it is possible to deduct the raw readings from the AQI, which is indicated by the last column in the table;

PollutantAveraging period Maximum concentrationRaw data convertion formula
Fine Particles (PM2.5)1 day25µg/m3 Mass = AQI*25/100 (µg/m3)
Respirable Particles (PM10)1 day50µg/m3 Mass = AQI*50/100 (µg/m3)
Carbon monoxide (CO)8 hours9.0ppm Count = AQI*9.0/100 (ppm)
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)1 hour0.12ppm Count = AQI*0.12/100 (ppm)
1 year0.03ppm
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)1 hour0.20ppm Count = AQI*0.20/100 (ppm)
1 day0.08ppm
1 year0.02ppm
Photochemical oxidants
(Ozone, O3)
1 hour0.10ppm Count = AQI*0.10/100 (ppm)
4 hours0.08ppm
Lead1 year0.50µg/m3 n/a

Actually, surprisingly enough, the WA DER AQI scale is much more strict than the US EPA when the AQI is above 50! Check for this comparitive tables for PM2.5:

Particule
mass
10 µg/m320 µg/m330 µg/m340 µg/m350 µg/m360 µg/m370 µg/m380 µg/m390
         
WA DER
Standard:
0..5050..100100..150150..200200..300300.....
         
US EPA
Standard:
0..5050..100100..150150..200

And this comparison is for the PM10:

Particule
mass
20 µg/m340 µg/m360 µg/m380 µg/m3100 µg/m3120 µg/m3140 µg/m3160 µg/m3180
         
WA DER
Standard:
0..5050..100100..150150..200200..300300.....
         
US EPA
Standard:
0..5050..100100..150


For now, we will keep the using the US EPA standard, simply because it is the one we use for the overall Australia.

We will also post an update soon (by October 2014), once we have gathered more data, to do more comparison of those 2 scales. We currently assume that the Air Quality in Western Australia is not just the same as in Chinam, where AQI above 200 is common, and that AQI below 50 should be the norm, in which case the PM2.5 reported AQI should be similar for both scales (assuming that PM2.5 is the major pollutant). But for now, those are all assumptions, so let's see in one month one enough data is available.


--

Note: This article is part of a series on Worlwide Air Quality scales.

For more information about specific countries or continent, please refer to thoses articles:
Thailand and Malysia
-
India
-
China
-
Hong Kong / Canada (Air Quality Health Index)
-
South America
-
Australia
-
Quebec and Montreal
-
Singapore
-
Poland
-
Indonesia
.
For information about the 24 hours averaging used or Ozone and Particulate Matter (PM2.5), please refer to those two articles: Ground Ozone Index - PM2.5 Instant Cast


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




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    À propos de la qualité et de la mesure de la pollution atmosphérique:

    A propos des niveaux de qualité de l'air

    IQANiveau de pollution de l'air Impact sur la santé
    0 - 50BonLa qualité de l'air est jugée satisfaisante, et la pollution de l'air pose peu ou pas de risque.
    51 -100ModéréAir 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.
    101-150Mauvais pour les groupes sensiblesLa qualité de l'air est acceptable; Cependant, pour certains polluants, il peut y avoir un problème de santé modérée pour un très petit nombre de personnes qui sont particulièrement sensibles à la pollution de l'air.
    151-200MauvaisTout le monde peut commencer à ressentir des effets sur la santé; les membres des groupes sensibles peuvent ressentir des effets de santé plus graves.
    201-300Très mauvaisAvertissements de santé de conditions d'urgence. Toute la population est plus susceptible d'être affecté.
    300+DangereuxAlerte de santé: tout le monde peut ressentir des effets de santé plus graves.

    Pour en savoir plus sur la qualité de l'air, consultez le sujet Qualité de l'air sur wikipedia ou le guide AirNow de la qualité de l'air et de votre santé .

    Pour des conseils de santé très utiles de Docteur Richard Saint Cyr, consultez le blog myhealthbeijing.com.


    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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