Air Quality Index

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An arbitrarily defined scale used by weather forecasters (e.g., in radio and television broadcasts) that assigns a score for air quality, based on the quantity of suspended particulate matter, irritant or toxic gases such as sulfur dioxide, and the “pollen count” of allergenic grasses and weeds. Improved criteria for a valid and reproducible air quality index are a research priority because this would be a useful aid in deciding whether persons with compromised respiratory or cardiovascular systems should venture outdoors. Currently, lack of consistency from one jurisdiction to another reduces the value of this indicator.

Subjects: Environmental Science — Public Health and Epidemiology.

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