Colombo air quality drops to unhealthy level

Colombo air quality drops to unhealthy level

by Teena Marian 08-12-2022 | 9:11 AM

COLOMBO (News 1st) - The Colombo air quality index (AQI) has increased further towards an unhealthy level.

The National Building Research Organization said that the AQI across many cities in Sri Lanka range between 150 - 200, which is an unhealthy level.

-What is the AQI?

The AQI reports on how clean or polluted the air in your area is, and what effects breathing the outdoor air may have on your health.

The AQI takes into account five of the major air pollutants. These pollutants are ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. 

How to protect yourself from unhealthy or hazardous air pollution: 

If the air quality in your area is compromised, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Special attention should be paid to those who have compromised respiratory, lung or heart health, as well as children and older adults who are, in general, more vulnerable. 

If the air quality falls in the unhealthy or red range (151-200), the AQI recommends that people with compromised health avoid prolonged outdoor work or activity. Everyone else who is not health-compromised should limit the time they spend outdoors. 


What each AQI category means:

  • Good (Green): 0-50 AQI means there is little or no health risk associated with air quality.
  • Moderate (Yellow): 51-100 AQI designates acceptable air quality, but some people who are sensitive to pollution or experience breathing issues may experience adverse effects, depending on the type of contaminants in the air.
  • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange): 101-150 means there is a health risk for children, older adults and people with heart disease and lung disease. The general healthy population isn't likely to experience health risks.
  • Unhealthy (Red): 151-200 AQI is considered unsafe and anyone could experience negative health effects from pollution in the air.
  • Very Unhealthy (Purple): 201-300 AQI is a serious health risk level for everyone and you may see a health alert on your phone or weather app. 
  • Hazardous (Maroon): 300 or greater AQI is considered hazardous and it's likely that an emergency or evacuation warning would be issued.

Sources: NBRO / C-Net

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