The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. The concept of index is to have one Number one colour description for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity. The index constituted part of the Government’s mission to introduce the culture of cleanliness. Institutional and infrastructural measures were being undertaken in order to ensure that the mandate of cleanliness was fulfilled across the country.
There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe. The proposed AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
- It focuses on health effects one might experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air.
- AQI is calculated for eight major air pollutants:
- Ground-level ozone,
- Carbon monoxide,
- Sulfur dioxide,
- Nitrogen dioxide,
- Ground-level ozone and airborne particles are the two pollutants that pose the greatest threat to human health in India.