U.S Embassy Beijing’s Air Monitor Tracks the Particulates in Your Lungs

Time.com has an item today on the dust storms in Beijing: “Beijing residents awakened Monday to skies the eerie yellow color of a street lamp. It was the second time in three days that the Chinese capital had been scoured by sandstorms that have hit 16 provinces across west, central and north China, affecting nearly one-fifth of the country’s 1.3 billion people, according to the state-run Xinhua News Service.” (Read Beijing and the Onslaught of the “Mongolian Cyclone).

You probably know this already, but in case you don’t – the US Embassy in Beijing has an Air Quality Monitor located at the
Chaoyang District in Beijing (MetOne BAM 1020 and Echotech EC9810 monitors, reporting PM2.5 and ozone readings)

According to the embassy its air quality monitors measure PM 2.5 particulates on the Embassy compound as an indication of the air quality.   This monitor is a resource for the health of the Mission community.  The website emphasized that “Citywide analysis cannot be done, however, on data from a lone machine.” 

It further explains that “Particulates lest than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5) are referred to as “fine” particulates and are believed to pose the largest health risks.  PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and allows us to compare against U.S. standard measures.  PM 2.5 particulates are of concern since they are small enough to get into the lungs and even the blood stream.  For more information, please visit the EPA site http://www.epa.gov/ttn/naaqs/pm/pm25_index.html.”
 

click image to enlarge

EPA has assigned a specific color to each AQI category to make it easier for people to understand quickly whether air pollution is reaching unhealthy levels in their communities. For example, the color orange means that conditions are “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” while red means that conditions may be “unhealthy for everyone,” and so on.

The AQI is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Read more on the
Air Quality Guide Index here.

Below are just the last several updates in the previous 24 hours from the monitor’s air measurements in Beijing. 

BeijingAir
Format for each: pollutant type; concentration; AQI; definition.

Click Twitter / BeijingAir
here to get the most current data.

#1. 03-23-2010; 01:00; PM2.5; 16.0; 52;
Moderate // Ozone; 30.2; 25;
Good
about 1 hours ago via API

#2.  03-23-2010; 00:15; Past 24hr: PM2.5 avg;
160.5; 211; Very Unhealthy//Ozone 8hr
high; 38.2; 32; Good about 2 hours ago via API

#3. 03-23-2010; 00:00; PM2.5; 28.0; 82;
Moderate // Ozone; 31.7; 27;
Good
about 2 hours ago via API
#4. 03-22-2010; 23:00; PM2.5; no data //
Ozone; 33.3; 28; Good about 3 hours ago via API

#5. 03-22-2010; 22:00; PM2.5; 18.0; 57;
Moderate // Ozone; 36.5; 31;
Good
about 4 hours ago via API

#6. 03-22-2010; 21:00; PM2.5; 27.0; 79;
Moderate // Ozone; 36.9; 31;
Good
about 5 hours ago via API

#7. 03-22-2010; 20:00; PM2.5; 25.0; 74;
Moderate // Ozone; 37.9; 32;
Good
about 6 hours ago via API

#8. 03-22-2010; 19:00; PM2.5; 27.0; 79;
Moderate // Ozone; 38.2; 32;
Good
about 7 hours ago via API

#9. 03-22-2010; 18:00; PM2.5; 47.0; 120;
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups // Ozone;
37.4; 31; Good about 8 hours ago via API

#10. 03-22-2010; 17:00; PM2.5; 49.0; 123;
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups // Ozone;
34.9; 30; Good about 9 hours ago via API

#11. 03-22-2010; 16:00; PM2.5; 128.0; 187;
Unhealthy // Ozone; 29.8; 25;
Good
about 10 hours ago via API

#12. 03-22-2010; 15:00; PM2.5; 226.0; 276;
Very Unhealthy // Ozone; 25.1; 21;
Good
about 11 hours ago via API

#13. 03-22-2010; 14:00; PM2.5; 158.0; 208;
Very Unhealthy // Ozone; 20.6; 18; Good
about 12 hours ago via API

#14. 03-22-2010; 13:00; PM2.5; 122.0; 184;
Unhealthy // Ozone; 16.1; 14;
Good about 13 hours ago via API

#15. 03-22-2010; 12:15; Past 24hr: PM2.5 avg;
163.3; 214; Very Unhealthy//Ozone 8hr high;
23.9; 20; Good
about 14 hours ago via API

#16. 03-22-2010; 12:00; PM2.5; 204.0; 254;
Very Unhealthy // Ozone; 11.4; 9; Good
about 14 hours ago via API

#17. 03-22-2010; 11:00; PM2.5; 761.0; 500;
Hazardous // Ozone; 6.9; 6; Good about 15
hours ago via API

#18. 03-22-2010; 10:00; PM2.5; 784.0; 500;
Hazardous // Ozone; 3.0; 3; Good about 16
hours ago via API

#19. 03-22-2010; 09:00; PM2.5; 315.0; 365;
Hazardous // Ozone; 0.6; 1; Good about 17
hours ago via API