EAD launches Abu Dhabi air Quality website & online index
The launch of the Website and Online Index were announced during the inauguration ceremony of NILU’s Headquarters. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mohammed Al Bowardi, Secretary General of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Managing Director of EAD; H.E Majid Al Mansouri Secretary General of EAD, the Charge d’Affaires Ase Bjerke from the Norwegian Embassy and Mr. Gunnar Jordfald, Managing Director of NILU.
“These tools are a landmark achievement for Abu Dhabi. They will provide essential information for anyone related to the field of air quality across the Government and private sector. It will enable us, as the environmental regulator, to make the right policy decisions and put the right laws in place. We’re doing this to make sure our children and their children have cleaner air to breathe,” said Majid Al Mansouri, Secretary General of EAD.
“The Air Quality Index will help those in our community who suffer from respiratory problems. Now they will be able to check their local air quality online daily and be able to manage their own health in a better way.”
Al Mansouri added; “The index helps to explain, via a coloured scale of 0-500, how clean or polluted the air we breathe is each day. The index is easy to read, colour-coded and broken down into six quality categories. They range from good (green) to hazardous (maroon).”
NILU will be responsible for the management of the website while the joint EAD-NILU Team will provide effective and reliable air quality monitoring data from across 10 fixed and 2 mobile monitoring stations across the Emirate. The data from these units is calibrated in Abu Dhabi’s Central Laboratory and updated throughout the day, onto the website. These activities are within the five year scope of work agreement signed with NILU. They are being implemented to improve air quality and reduce the impact of Climate Change.
The EAD-NILU strategic partnership covers all issues related to air and noise pollution, which include Clean Development Mechanism, emissions of pollutants, Compressed Natural Gas, Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel, Green Building Guidelines, Renewable Energy as well as Indoor Air and Noise Pollution. Under this agreement, UAE nationals will be trained in procedures related to inspections/control and reporting of air quality-related issues.
“Through this partnership, we intend to learn from each other and build a strong, responsive national team for air and climate control. This team will do its best to put environmental issues at the heart of everything we do across Government, added Mr. Gunnar Jordfald, Director of NILU.
During the ceremony, it was announced that a Standardization Unit will be set up and managed by NILU to maintain the national reference calibration standards for ambient air quality monitoring. This Unit will maintain a Quality Manual, operate and maintain the national database, perform audits in the measurement networks and train personnel in the monitoring networks.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
The AQI is calculated as maximum of all components:
- `Good` The AQI value for your community is between 0 and 50. Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
- `Moderate` The AQI for your community is between 51 and 100. Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people. For example, people who are unusually sensitive to ozone may experience respiratory symptoms.
- `Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups` When AQI values are between 101 and 150, members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. This means they are likely to be affected at lower levels than the general public. For example, people with lung disease are at greater risk from exposure to ozone, while people with either lung disease or heart disease are at greater risk from exposure to particle pollution. The general public is not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.
- `Unhealthy` Everyone may begin to experience health effects when AQI values are between 151 and 200. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
- `Very Unhealthy` AQI values between 201 and 300 trigger a health alert, meaning everyone may experience more serious health effects.
- `Hazardous` AQI values over 300 trigger health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.