Air Quality Monitor for Pristina

Air Quality Monitor Pristina

U.S. Embassy Pristina has installed an air quality monitor to measure pollution in Pristina’s air, the results of which are available live to the public on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Now Website.

Air pollution is a major health issue facing millions around the world. In the United States, the Clean Air Act (first passed in 1970) was created to clean up air pollution and help protect the health of all Americans. Recognizing that pollution is not a problem that stops at borders, the United States also monitors and provides some states with assistance to better understand such pollution.  One tool to do so is the Air Quality Index (AQI), which translates air quality data into numbers and colors that help people understand when to take action to protect their health. The air quality monitor located at the Embassy measures particulate matter in Pristina’s air every hour, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Such particles can be the result of vehicle and power plant emissions, residential coal or wood burning, or direct events such as forest fires, and can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time.  Particles of this size, approximately 1/30th the diameter of the average human hair, pose the greatest health risk.  Scientific studies have linked long-term particle pollution, especially fine particles, with significant health problems such as heart and lung disease.

The Embassy’s monitors collect data continuously, results are averaged and updated hourly on the website and used to compute an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 0 to 500, which are posted on the Airnow website unedited for public information and use. The purpose of the AQI is to explain what local air quality means to the population’s health. To make it easier to understand, the AQI is divided into six categories:

Air Quality Index
(AQI) Values
Levels of Health Concern Colors
When the AQI is in this range: ..air quality conditions are: …as symbolized by this color:
0 to 50 Good Green
51 to 100 Moderate Yellow
101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Orange
151 to 200 Unhealthy Red
201 to 300 Very Unhealthy Purple
301 to 500 Hazardous Maroon

 

“Good” AQI is 0 to 50.  Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.Each category corresponds to a different level of health concern.  The six levels of health concern and what they mean are:

  • “Moderate” AQI is 51 to 100.  Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people.  For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.
  • “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” AQI is 101 to 150.  Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults, and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults, and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
  • “Unhealthy” AQI is 151 to 200.  Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.
  • “Very Unhealthy” AQI is 201 to 300.  This would trigger a health alert signifying that everyone may experience more serious health effects.
  • “Hazardous” AQI greater than 300.  This would trigger a health warning of emergency conditions.  The entire population is more likely to be affected.

We encourage everyone to make use of the data and work towards a cleaner, safer environment.