Air quality can be looked at in two ways: outdoor and indoor. Outdoor air quality is affected by different things including temperature, humidity, local pollution and pollution coming from outside of the area. Two factors that can lower outdoor air quality are the pollutants ozone and particulate matter.
Outdoor Air Quality Monitoring
Fortunately, most of the time the outdoor air quality is at a safe level for the general population. During this time, monitoring of the air is still being done through an organization called the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). MORPC forecasts and issues air alerts in central Ohio based on Ohio EPA air monitoring information for ozone and particulate pollution. Their results are on the MORPC website and are measured using an Air Quality Index that rates the quality using a number value from 0 to 300. The higher the value the more unhealthy the air quality currently is.
At Columbus Public Health, we keep the public informed on the health affects of poor outdoor air quality. We also suggest some ways to avoid unhealthy exposure to outdoor air pollution. Generally, you can reduce risks to your health by avoiding intense activity outdoors when ozone and particulate levels are high. This is especially important for high-risk groups mentioned above.
Air Quality Alerts
Air quality alerts are issued for central Ohio when ozone or particulate levels in the air are high enough to be harmful.
For more information on
MORPC's Air Quality Program.
Indoor Air Quality
Healthy Homes helps residents of Columbus and Worthington prevent asthma triggers and other household dangers such as mold that impact indoor air quality. See the Healthy Homes Program page
High Risk Groups
All people benefit from good air quality, but it is especially important to people who may be at a higher risk of being harmed by poor air quality. These high risks groups can include people with asthma, people with heart or lung disease, or physically active people who exercise outdoors when air quality is poor.