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Welcome to theAIR QUALITY CENTER

The air in our jurisdiction is some of the cleanest air in the country.
Our communities are among those with the lowest levels of polluting ground-level ozone, according to the American Lung Association’s 2015 report. We’re working to keep it that way — and to keep you informed about the current air quality near you.

Mount Vernon

Update: May 27, 2015 | 8:03 pm

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AIR QUALITY

Dominant Pollutant

    See State Monitoring

    Pollutants and Weather

    • -- Ozone ppb
    • -- Particulate µg/m3
    • -- Sulfur Dioxide ppb
    • -- Carbon Monoxide ppb
    • -- Relative Humidity %
    • -- Barometric Pressure inHg
    • -- Wind Speed mph
    • -- Wind Direction deg
    • -- Temperature F

    Snapshot |

    Monthly Reports

    View Monthly Ambient and Industy Reports

    Alerts

    Click the Map to see air quality in your area

     

     

    How We Monitor

    Our agency operates real-time ambient air quality monitors in seven locations in our jurisdiction. Most of these air quality monitors keep track of air pollution in populated areas. Others – like the monitor near Lynden – measure regional background air quality. Our Columbia Valley monitor is helpful as we work with the community to improve an identified, localized air pollution problem caused largely by residential wood heating.

    We also require some of the largest industries to monitor air quality with monitors on their properties. We audit their monitoring equipment and provide the data in monthly reports on our website.

    What Are The Standards?

    Under the federal Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six types of pollutants that are harmful to public health and the environment: Ground-level ozone, fine particles, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and lead.

    To make it easier for us to communicate how clean or polluted our air is, and what the associated health effects might be, EPA has created the Air Quality Index (AQI) for five of the six pollutants for which it has set national ambient air quality standards. (There is no index for lead.) The state of Washington has its own indexing system, called the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) for particle pollution that is more protective than the national scale and is more responsive to rapidly changing conditions.

    Air Quality Index

    Fine Particles (PM2.5), Ground-level Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide*

    WA Air Quality Advisory

    Fine Particles (PM2.5), Ground-level Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, and Sulfur Dioxide

    Good

    AQI

    Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

    WAQA

    Air pollution is minimal and there is little health risk.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)
    None.
    Ozone
    None.
    Carbon Monoxide
    None.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    None. It's a great day to be active outside.
    Moderate

    AQI

    Air 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.

    WAQA

    People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, or have had a stroke may begin to have breathing problems.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, infants, children, adults older than 65, pregnant women, or people who have had a stroke.

    What should I do?
    Unusually Sensitive people should limit outdoor activities or do activities that take less effort, such as walking instead of running.

    Ozone

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Some people who may be unusually Sensitive to ozone.

    What should I do?
    Unusually Sensitive people: Consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. These are signs to take it a little easier.

    Everyone else: It’s a good day to be active outside.

    Carbon Monoxide
    None.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    None.
    Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

    AQI

    Members of Sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.

    WAQA

    Many more people than average may have breathing problems or have worsened symptoms of existing lung or heart disease.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, infants, children, adults older than 65, pregnant women, or people who have had a stroke.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups should limit time spent outdoors.

    Ozone

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Sensitive groups include people with lung disease such as asthma, older adults, children and teenagers, and people who are active outdoors.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

    People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy.

    Carbon Monoxide
    People with heart disease, such as angina, should reduce heavy exertion and avoid sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    People with asthma should consider reducing exertion outdoors.
    Unhealthy

    AQI

    Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of Sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

    WAQA

    Many more people than average may have breathing problems or have worsened symptoms of existing lung or heart disease.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, people who have had a stroke, infants, children, pregnant women and adults over age 65 should stay indoors.

    Everyone else:Limit time spent outdoors. Avoid exercising outdoors (including sports teams) and choose non-strenuous indoor activities.

    Ozone

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

    People with asthma, keep quick-relief medicine handy.

    Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

    Carbon Monoxide
    People with heart disease, such as angina, should reduce moderate exertion and avoid sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Children, asthmatics, and people with heart or lung disease should reduce exertion outdoors.
    Very Unhealthy

    AQI

    Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.

    WAQA

    Some healthy people can have breathing problems. People with asthma, lung and heart disease have an increased risk of symptoms or worsening of their disease. Studies show the number of people hospitalized for lung diseases can be 50 percent more than normal.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, lung and heart disease, and people who have had a stroke should check with their health care provider for advice about leaving the area. Anyone with shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, or difficulty moving or speaking should call their health care provider or call 911.

    Everyone else: Stay indoors, do only light activities and keep windows closed if it is not too hot. Run air conditioners on re-circulate and close the outside air intake. Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available. If you must be outdoors, wear an N-95 respirator mask. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

    Check with your local health department for health information.

    Ozone

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: Avoid all physical activity outdoors. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when air quality is better.

    People with asthma, keep quick-relief medicine handy.

    Everyone else: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

    Carbon Monoxide
    People with heart disease, such as angina, should avoid exertion and sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Children, asthmatics, and people with heart or lung disease should avoid outdoor exertion. Everyone else should reduce exertion outdoors.
    Hazardous

    AQI

    Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.

    WAQA

    More healthy people are likely to have breathing problems. The people most susceptible are those with asthma or lung disease, diabetes, have had a stroke, infants, children, pregnant women, and adults older than 65. Studies suggest more people with asthma, lung or heart disease need medical attention.

    Precautions to Take

    Fine particles or particluate matter (PM2.5)

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, lung and heart disease, and people who have had a stroke should check with their health care provider for advice about leaving the area. Anyone with shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, or difficulty moving or speaking should call their health care provider or call 911.

    Everyone else: Stay indoors, do only light activities and keep windows closed if it is not too hot. Run air conditioners on re-circulate and close the outside air intake. Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available. If you must be outdoors, wear an N-95 respirator mask. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

    Check with your local health department for health information.

    Ozone

    Who needs to be concerned?
    Everyone.

    What should I do?
    Everyone: Avoid all physical activity outdoors.

    Carbon Monoxide
    Beyond scale for this pollutant.
    Sulfur Dioxide
    Beyond scale for this pollutant.

    * NWCAA does not monitor for nitrogen dioxide since this pollutant is primarily a concern in large metropolitan areas with significant traffic volumes.

     

    Air Quality Index

    Fine Particles (PM2.5), Ground-level Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, Sulfur Dioxide, and Nitrogen Dioxide*

    Meaning

    WA Air Quality Advisory

    Fine Particles (PM2.5), Ground-level Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, and Sulfur Dioxide

    Meaning
    Good Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk. Air pollution is minimal and there is little health risk. tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    None. It's a great day to be active outside.
    Moderate Air 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. People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, or have had a stroke may begin to have breathing problems. tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    Who needs to be concerned?

    People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, or have had a stroke.

    What should I do?

    Unusually Sensitive people should limit outdoor activities or do activities that take less effort, such as walking instead of running.

    Who needs to be concerned?

    Some people who may be unusually Sensitive to ozone.

    What should I do?

    Unusually Sensitive people: Consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. These are signs to take it a little easier.

    Everyone else: It’s a good day to be active outside.
    None. None.
    Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Members of Sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected. Many more people than average may have breathing problems or have worsened symptoms of existing lung or heart disease.tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    Who needs to be concerned?

    Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, infants, children, adults older than 65, pregnant women, or people who have had a stroke.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups should limit time spent outdoors.

    Who needs to be concerned?

    Sensitive groups include people with lung disease such as asthma, older adults, children and teenagers, and people who are active outdoors.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

    People with asthma should follow their asthma action plans and keep quick relief medicine handy.

    People with heart disease, such as angina, should reduce heavy exertion and avoid sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic.

    People with asthma should consider reducing exertion outdoors.

    Unhealthy Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of Sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects. Many more people than average may have breathing problems or have worsened symptoms of existing lung or heart disease.tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, respiratory infection, diabetes, lung or heart disease, people who have had a stroke, infants, children, pregnant women and adults over age 65 should stay indoors.

    Everyone else: Limit time spent outdoors. Avoid exercising outdoors (including sports teams) and choose non-strenuous indoor activities.

    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

    People with asthma, keep quick-relief medicine handy.

    Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

    People with heart disease, such as angina, should reduce moderate exertion and avoid sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic. Children, asthmatics, and people with heart or lung disease should reduce exertion outdoors.
    Very Unhealthy Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects. Some healthy people can have breathing problems. People with asthma, lung and heart disease have an increased risk of symptoms or worsening of their disease. Studies show the number of people hospitalized for lung diseases can be 50 percent more than normal.tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM 2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, lung and heart disease, and people who have had a stroke should check with their health care provider for advice about leaving the area. Anyone with shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, or difficulty moving or speaking should call their health care provider or call 911.

    Everyone else: Stay indoors, do only light activities and keep windows closed if it is not too hot. Run air conditioners on re-circulate and close the outside air intake. Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available. If you must be outdoors, wear an N-95 respirator mask. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

    Check with your local health department for health information.

    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: Avoid all physical activity outdoors. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when air quality is better.

    People with asthma, keep quick-relief medicine handy.

    Everyone else: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

    People with heart disease, such as angina, should avoid exertion and sources of carbon monoxide, such as heavy traffic. Children, asthmatics, and people with heart or lung disease should avoid outdoor exertion. Everyone else should reduce exertion outdoors.
    Hazardous Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected. More healthy people are likely to have breathing problems. The people most susceptible are those with asthma or lung disease, diabetes, have had a stroke, infants, children, pregnant women, and adults older than 65. Studies suggest more people with asthma, lung or heart disease need medical attention.tips

    Precautions to take

    Fine particles or particluate
    matter (PM2.5)
    Ozone Carbon Monoxide Sulfur Dioxide
    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do?

    Sensitive groups: People with asthma, lung and heart disease, and people who have had a stroke should check with their health care provider for advice about leaving the area. Anyone with shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, or difficulty moving or speaking should call their health care provider or call 911.

    Everyone else: Stay indoors, do only light activities and keep windows closed if it is not too hot. Run air conditioners on re-circulate and close the outside air intake. Use indoor air cleaners with HEPA filters, if available. If you must be outdoors, wear an N-95 respirator mask. People with chronic diseases should check with their health care provider before wearing a mask.

    Check with your local health department for health information.

    Who needs to be concerned?

    Everyone.

    What should I do? Everyone: Avoid all physical activity outdoors.
    Beyond scale for this pollutant. Beyond scale for this pollutant.

    Additional Resources