05/07/2007

New Tool Helps Answer Air Quality Questions

AirCompare, a new air quality tool (developed by the US-American
EPA-Environmental Protection Agency), provides local air quality information to
help people make informed decisions about moving, vacationing or living in
different areas of the country.

"From people getting ready to retire to vacationers or those changing jobs,
Americans are increasingly considering air quality as they make their plans," said Bill Wehrum, EPA's acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation.
"AirCompare helps answer those questions in a way that's simple to understand."

AirCompare uses EPA's popular Air Quality Index (AQI) to explain air quality
from a health perspective. A person with asthma, for example, can use
AirCompare to select up to 10 counties across the country -- and with the click
of a button, find out how many days the air was unhealthy for asthmatics last
year. Or someone planning a trip can find out the best time of year to visit a
particular area, based on concerns about asthma, heart disease, outdoor
activity, or just general interest.

AirCompare searches EPA air quality databases to pull information about
pollutants reported under the AQI ­ and to translate it into charts that show
simply whether the previous year's air quality was healthy, unhealthy or
unhealthy for specific groups more susceptible to pollution. The tool also can
provide a multi-year snapshot of a county's air quality, based on a particular
health issue.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: Environmental Protection Agency