As smoke from the Canadian wildfires continued to drift across the United States, creating unhealthy air quality, many places across the country were under air quality alerts Thursday.
Paying attention to those alerts is important to staying safe, but monitoring air quality levels can also help you decide when it’s safe to go outside. (Air quality levels can change throughout the day, depending on the time of day and the amount of smoke in an area.)
These apps can help you track air quality levels.
AirNow Mobile App
He AirNow Mobile AppAvailable on iPhone and Android phones, it was created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, which monitors air quality across the country.
The app allows users to enter their zip code or city to get the most up-to-date information on air quality levels. The app also has a fire and smoke map that allows users to see where the thickest layers of smoke have moved.
IQAir AirVisual | Air Quality App
He IQAir AirVisual | Air Quality Appwhich is also available for iPhone or Android users, provides the latest levels of air quality, as well as useful context on how bad the air quality is in a given region.
IQAir has a real-time ranking that shows which cities have the worst levels of air pollution. At times this week, New York City has had some of the worst levels of air quality in the world.
The IQAir app also shares health recommendations. When air quality reaches unhealthy levels, for example, IQAir recommends wearing a mask outdoors, using a home air purifier, closing windows, and avoiding outdoor exercise.
For those looking for detailed information, the Plume Labs App Share complete maps with pollution hotspots. The app also has an hourly air quality forecast, as levels often change throughout the day.
The app, available for iPhone and Android phones, can also send alerts when air quality levels worsen.
He air care The app shares air quality information along with a helpful guide. When the air quality is healthy, the app says, “You can breathe freely.”
The app includes a tracker that monitors allergens like tree, grass, and ragweed pollens. The app also tracks the UV index and provides recommendations such as “avoid the sun around noon, seek shade and wear sunscreen” when the sun’s UV radiation is high.
Other Useful Places to Get Air Quality Information
Various weather apps, such as those created by Apple, The Weather Channel, and AccuWeather, provide air quality levels in addition to weather forecasts.
He National Metereological Service also provides air quality details online, along with air quality safety resources.