Air Quality Health Advisories

The Air Quality Index is a scale for reporting daily air quality by telling you how clean the air is. The AQI is divided into six categories:



Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups


Very Unhealthy


Protect yourself and your family when a health advisory has been issued

Orange level: Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

If a health advisory is issued for the orange level, we recommend people with heart or lung disease, asthma, or other sensitive groups like older adults and children, reschedule or cut back on strenuous outside activities.

See your doctor if you experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • See your doctor if you experience chest pain,

Everyone with asthma should have a written plan for treating symptoms that is shared with caregivers (at schools, camps, childcare or other facilities). In addition, keep prescription rescue medications (such as an emergency inhaler for asthma) available.

Red Level or Higher: Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy, or Hazardous

If a health advisory is issued for the red level, everyone should cut back or reschedule strenuous outside activities and people in sensitive groups should avoid any strenuous outside activity.

Follow guidance provided by your local health department and other health officials if a higher advisory is given.

Know if an air quality health advisory has been issued

  • Sign up to receive air quality notices via email, text or RSS feed.
  • Visit the Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Air Quality Notices website to find out if any notices have been issued.
  • Visit DNR's Interactive Air Quality Map that displays current AQIs for each county.

Ways to improve air quality

  • Reduce driving when possible and don't leave vehicle engines idling.
  • Postpone 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.
  • Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Minimize the use of wood burning fireplaces, stoves, boilers and outdoor fires, including grilling outdoors (especially on fine particle pollution advisory days).
Last Revised: June 29, 2020