Improvements to the Air Quality Health IndexImprovements to the Air Quality Health Index<div class="ExternalClass19A8F0527C27414792A4C9A8D9844A89"><p>The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) provides information to the public about the impacts of air quality on human health. AQHI values are reported on a scale from 1 to 10 to convey low, moderate, high or very high health risks, and allow people, particularly those who are sensitive to air pollution, to plan their outdoor activities appropriately. In 2013, air quality was in the low health risk category in Metro Vancouver over 99% of the time.</p><p>Staff at the BC Centre for Disease Control recently worked with air quality agencies in British Columbia, including Metro Vancouver, to improve the information provided by the AQHI when smoke particles are present in our air.</p><p>Higher concentrations of smoke particles may be found in the air in the summer because of wildfires, and in the winter due to homes being heated by wood. The AQHI improvement means that the index may increase to 7 (high health risk) when high concentrations of smoke particles are detected in an AQHI zone. </p><p>The Lower Fraser Valley is covered by six AQHI zones, four in Metro Vancouver and two in the Fraser Valley Regional District. Current conditions and forecasts for each zone can be found on Metro Vancouver’s air quality reporting page, <a href="http://www.airmap.ca/" target="_blank">www.airmap.ca</a>.</p></div>http://www.metrovancouver.org/metroupdate/PublishingImages/issue26-airqualityindex.jpg2016-11-30T08:00:00ZGP0|#b009e37c-8145-4c7a-9df2-56f99def4f75;L0|#0b009e37c-8145-4c7a-9df2-56f99def4f75|Issue 26;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClass102BF1A1B4104A4A916DDD2DFA8D4AB2"><p>​Air quality is often in the world news because it can be a real health risk to residents. What's our air quality like? Very good. Find out more with the Air Quality Health Index.  </p></div>0Example of information available on AQHI web site, captured in late November 2016. The image shows the AQHI zones in our region as blue, corresponding to a low health risk.