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Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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