Several parts of the country were under air quality alerts on Thursday as wildfire smoke from Canada continued to drift across the United States, causing unhealthy air quality.
Heeding these 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 vary throughout the day, depending on the time of day and the amount of smog in an area.)
These apps can help you track air quality levels.
AirNow Mobile App
this AirNow Mobile AppAvailable on iPhone and Android phones, it was created by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees air quality across the country.
The app allows users to enter their zip code or city to get the latest information on air quality levels. The app also has a fire and smoke map that lets users see where the thickest layers of smoke drift.
IQAir Air Vision | Air Quality App
this IQAir Air Vision | Air Quality Appalso available for iPhone or Android users, provides up-to-date air quality levels, as well as useful background information on how bad the air is in a particular area.
IQAir has a real-time ranking showing which cities have the worst air pollution. At times this week, New York City had some of the worst air quality in the world.
IQAir’s app also shares health advice. For example, IQAir recommends wearing a mask outdoors, using an air purifier at home, closing windows and avoiding outdoor exercise when air quality reaches unhealthy levels.
For those looking for details, Feather Lab App Share comprehensive maps with pollution hotspots. The app also has hourly air quality forecasts, as air quality levels change frequently throughout the day.
The app, available for iPhone and Android phones, also sends alerts when air quality levels deteriorate.
this air care The app shares air quality information as well as helpful guidance. When the air quality is healthy, the app will say, “You can breathe freely.”
The app includes a tracker for allergens like tree, grass and ragweed pollen. The app also tracks the UV Index and offers advice when the sun’s UV radiation is high, such as “avoid the midday sun, seek shade and use sunscreen.”
Other Useful Places for Air Quality Information
Some weather apps, such as those created by Apple, The Weather Channel, and AccuWeather, provide air quality levels in addition to weather forecasts.
this National Weather Service Detailed information on air quality is also available online, along with resources on air quality safety.