Online index helps Albertans manage respiratory health every day
November 14 marked chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) awareness day. As such, Albertans are being reminded of an important health management tool for people with COPD and anyone who helps care for them. The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is an online tool that delivers up-to-date information on air quality conditions.
Air quality is an issue that affects us all. However, seniors, children, active individuals, and people with pre-existing conditions such as COPD are often more at risk from the effects of air pollution. The AQHI was created to give these individuals greater personal control over their respiratory health.
Fortunately, Albertans experience good air quality 95 per cent of the time, but we are always looking to improve. That is why in 2011, the Governments of Alberta and Canada introduced a modified federal AQHI to give Albertans timely and essential information to plan their outdoor activities.
Alberta’s AQHI reports local air quality in real-time for more than 20 communities, as well as predicting future conditions for a period of up to 48 hours. The AQHI works on a scale from 1 to 10 – similar to the ultra violet (UV) Index – to determine the health risk. The lower the number on the scale, the lower the health risk.
The AQHI also provides recommendations on how to minimize respiratory health risks and serves as an important health management tool for people with COPD. The AQHI is available at www.airquality.alberta.ca .
Our friends at the Lung Association Alberta & NWT are an excellent resource for information on COPD.