Air Quality Health Advisories
The Air Quality Index
(AQI) (exit DHS) is a scale for reporting daily air quality. The AQI tells you
how clean or polluted the air is, and what associated health effects might
be a concern for you. The AQI is divided into six (6) categories:
for Sensitive Groups
quality health advisories (exit DHS) are issued by the Wisconsin
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) when the AQI for ground
level ozone or fine particle pollution (PM2.5)
reaches the orange level or above.
How to protect yourself and your family when a health advisory has
When a health advisory is issued because the AQI
is in the ORANGE
level ("unhealthy for sensitive groups"), people with heart or
lung disease, asthma, and other sensitive groups like older adults and
children, are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous outside
close attention to cardiac symptoms (chest pain or shortness
of breath) and respiratory symptoms (coughing, wheezing and
trouble breathing), and see your doctor if you have concerns or are
prescription rescue medications (such as an emergency inhaler for
asthma) on hand in case of exacerbated symptoms.
Everyone with asthma
should have a written plan for treating symptoms that is shared with
caregivers (at schools, camps, childcare or other facilities).
When the AQI is in the RED
level ("unhealthy"), everyone should cut back or reschedule
strenuous outside activities and people in sensitive groups should avoid any
strenuous outside activity.
Things you can do to improve air quality
during and after an Air Advisory day
driving when possible and don’t leave vehicle engines idling.
activities that use small gasoline and diesel engines until late
afternoon or evening.
- Wait until late afternoon
or evening to fill your vehicle’s gas tank.
electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
the use of wood burning fireplaces, stoves, boilers and outdoor fires,
including grilling outdoors (especially on fine particle pollution advisory days).
Three easy ways to know if an air quality
health advisory has been issued
Go to the
DNR website to find out if
Notices may have been issued for your area (exit DHS)
Call the Daily Air Hotline at: 1-866-DAILY AIR (1-866-324-5924)
receive Air Quality Notifications by email (exit DHS)
For more information
Contact your local
health department, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services: (608) 266-1120 or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Air Monitoring Section: (608) 266-1058.
US EPA Information on Ozone
US EPA Air Quality Guide for Particle
Pollution (exit DHS)
Haze Cam (exit DHS)
Back to Air Issue Fact Sheets
February 28, 2014