Too often, Americans don’t know enough about the air quality in their communities and the impact it has on their health. A new ProPublica interactive neighborhood map shows, for the first time, the air quality in America’s neighborhoods. It was developed to interpret data from air pollutant monitoring stations into a scale that indicates how polluted the air is and the health effects associated. The higher the Air Quality Index (AQI) value, the greater the level of pollution and the greater health concern.
It is impossible to ignore the presence of air pollution when it from obvious sources such as smoke from fires or smog from vehicle pollution. Polluted air can also be invisible and with impact to billions of people. The air we breathe can contain toxins from car traffic, coal-fired plants and oil refineries.