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Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The AQHI is a tool that was developed by Environment Canada and Health Canada. It can ​help you understand what air quality means to your health. It tells you how to:

  • limit your exposure when the air quality is poor
  • adjust your activity level outside when the air quality is poor
The AQHI uses a number from 1 to 10 to tell you your level of risk when exposed to poor air conditions. The higher the number, the higher the risk to your health, and the more you need to take precautions. The AQHI describes the level of health risk related to this number as low, moderate, high, or very high. So​​metimes, when the air pollution level is very high (like during a forest fire) the number may be more than 10 (10+).


Air pollution affects everyone differently. The AQHI tool has information and advice for people who are high risk for problems (e.g., older adults, or people with asthma, lung or heart disease). It will tell you how to protect yourself based on the level of the air quality. To learn more about the AQHI and how to use it, visit their website.​


Current as of: September 5, 2017

Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services