U.S. Consulate Air Quality Monitor and StateAir
The U.S. Consulate has an air quality monitor to measure PM 2.5 particulates as an indication of the air quality on the Consulate Guangzhou compound located in Zhujiang New Town. Pollutants such as particle pollution are linked to a number of significant health effects -- and those effects are likely to be more severe for sensitive populations, including people with heart or lung disease, children, and older adults. This monitor is a resource for the health of the American community. Citywide analysis cannot be done, however, on data from a single machine.
Particulates less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5) are referred to as “fine” particulates and are believed to pose the largest health risks. PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and allows us to compare against U.S. standard measures. PM 2.5 particulates are of concern since they are small enough to directly enter the lungs and even the blood stream. For more information, please visit the EPA site.
The U.S. EPA has developed a formula to convert PM 2.5 readings into an air quality index (AQI) value than can help inform health-related decisions. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. Please note that AQI is different from the Air Pollution Index (API) used in China. See more information on AQI and how it is calculated.
|Air Quality Index
|Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.|
|People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.|
|People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.|
|Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.|
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection provides its own air quality data for cities throughout China. The Guangdong Environmental Protection Department and the Guangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau also provide air quality data.
The Guangzhou Air Quality and Consular Information App is designed to assist and inform American citizens living in or visiting south China. The app conveniently brings same day air quality PM 2.5 readings from the U.S. Consulate’s air monitor on Shamian island in Guangzhou, China. The app also provides contact information, office hours, and other details for people who need to report a missing passport or apply for a new passport. Information on visa procedures, notarial services, reports of birth abroad is also provided.
The app also provides environmental protection themed content – local blogs, a “this week in environmental history” section and classic public service announcements from the 1970s.