Air pollution can cause secondary emergencies and hazards when it reaches a certain level of poor quality. This is monitored in Connecticut by the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), which issues Air Quality Index (AQI) reports on their website.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a color-coded tool for reporting air quality. It provides simple information on local air quality, the health concerns for different levels of air pollution, and how you can protect your health when pollutants reach unhealthy levels. Measured concentrations of air pollutants are converted to the AQI scale of 0 to 500.
Air Quality Preparedness Tips:
Prepare for Unhealthy, Very Unhealthy or Hazardous air quality by taking the following steps:
- Be mindful of current and projected weather and air quality conditions, and proactively reschedule or relocate activities or develop back-up indoor plans if possible.
- Make a plan with your family, friends and co-workers to accommodate sensitive or special consideration individuals during air quality events, including personal leave time if necessary.
- Ensure your air conditioning and filter units are clean and ready to help keep the indoor air safe. If you are unsure of what to do at work, log a customer service request.
- Do not add to indoor pollution and minimize activities which stir up dust and other materials into the air.
- Work with your doctor or medical professional if you are in the sensitive group category to make a proactive plan for managing respiratory health.
- Do not use bandannas or wet cloths as face coverings during poor air quality events, as these do not provide good protection. Work with your health care provider to determine if wearing an appropriate mask is a good solution for your risks.