The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a tool that was developed by Environment Canada and Health Canada. It can help you understand what air quality means to your health. It tells you when to change or stop your activities outside if the air quality is poor.
The AQHI uses a number from 1 to 10 to tell you your level of risk when exposed to poor air quality (air pollution). The higher the number, the higher the risk to your health, and the more you need to be careful. The AQHI describes the level of health risk as low, moderate, high, or very high. Sometimes, when the air pollution level is very high (like during a wildfire) the number may be more than 10 (10+).
Sometimes smoke or air pollution from events like wildfires can occur in very localized areas. They can change quickly and may not be detected by AQHI stations.
Air pollution affects everyone differently. The AQHI tool has information and advice for people who are at high risk for problems (such as older adults or people with asthma, lung, or heart disease). It will tell you how to protect yourself based on the level of the air pollution. View the
AQHI map and learn more about the
AQHI and how to use it.
You can also get local weather alerts about the AQHI and air pollution with the Government of Canada’s Public Weather Alerts website or WeatherCAN app.
Current as of: May 18, 2023
Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services
This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an "as is", "where is" basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.