Get an AirVisual Outdoor and contribute to collecting millions of data points for the Kabul map to track local air pollution
Air quality maps can be extremely beneficial to a large amount of the population who make use of them. Many individuals in Kabul may want to utilize air pollution maps to keep their pollution exposure to a minimum, and as mentioned in the previous question, air quality maps can be beneficial due to allowing people to make better decisions about which parts of the city to exercise in, as well as other factors such as other outdoor activities, daily commutes (although this one may be harder to alter) as well as the choice of where to live, particularly for certain groups of more vulnerable or at-risk people. Besides those that are generally healthy and want to use air quality maps to stay clear of entering areas that may cause them to breathe larger amounts of smoke, haze, smog, or particulate matter, the other groups include those with poor immune systems or ones that have been compromised due to failing health, as well as pre-existing conditions taking their toll on these individuals.
Air pollution maps in Kabul show how much exposure these at-risk individuals are, and due to the numerous and highly accurate studies conducted throughout the world showing how dangerous air pollution is to people in the modern era (due to other factors such as increasing pollution levels due to a growing population, increase in infrastructure hence more construction sites, road repairs, and other similar activities, along with massive increases in vehicle ownership), it is in the best interest of everyone to do what they can to stay free from air pollution exposure, which can be done with the use of air quality maps.
Other groups that may benefit from air pollution maps include younger children and babies, in which case families as a whole can make decisions to keep those who are still undergoing their vital growth and developmental stages away from harmful levels of pollution. Many chemical compounds in the gases found in the air, along with ultrafine particles, can have a severely adverse effect on both the mental and physical development of younger people. Pregnant mothers are also at risk, with high pollution exposure potentially causing babies to be born at a low weight, prematurely, or even with a chance of a miscarriage occurring. Once again, air quality maps can help such individuals to note which areas of Kabul they can avoid, and at what times, to keep these potential risks to a minimum.
Air quality maps are extremely useful for the inhabitants of Kabul, as well as those visiting, due to their more concise ability to pinpoint exactly in which parts of the city (as well as the outskirts and wherever any air quality monitoring stations may be) the pollution levels are at their highest. This data is fed continuously from a large number of the aforementioned air quality monitoring stations, some of them being in place via government institutions, whilst others can be set up by individual organizations. The feed of data, which is recorded in US AQI, is shown constantly on the air pollution maps present throughout Kabul.
Whilst traditional city pages that show the polluted level based on an average taken from the numbers recorded by the air quality stations (which are also available to view on the IQAir website, and they differ in that they can show forecasts as well as what concentrations of different pollutants may be in the air) are useful in gaining an insight into the overall level of air pollution in Kabul, the air quality maps are indeed more useful in the fact that exact pollution hotspots (as well as the cleanest areas of the city) can be located. This information can then be used to make more informed decisions about what activities to undertake, as well as when the best times throughout both the day as well as the whole year one can commit to them. As such, the air quality maps and air pollution maps can offer a distinct advantage in showing highly accurate and localized pollution readings throughout numerous locations. This makes a large difference as traditionally when a city, town, or province is deemed as being ‘highly polluted’, it may even be distinctly noticeable on the ground level that certain locations are as normal, and may even have great levels of air quality. In closing, the air quality maps in Kabul can show where the highest pollution spikes are occurring, rather than just giving what could be deemed as a more generalized average of the city, and may not be relevant for many areas.
Air quality maps in Kabul can help those with certain illnesses, allowing them to stay away from highly polluted areas as shown on the air pollution maps and therefore have any potential illness flare-ups lessen in severity. Some conditions that may worsen when the US AQI readings on the air quality maps start to shoot up are ones that typically affect the pulmonary and cardiac systems, causing or increasing the risk of conditions such as heart attacks, arrhythmias, strokes, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Referring to the air quality map for Kabul throughout the year can help to reduce the possibility of such ailments occurring.
Air quality maps utilize US AQI readings across the different stations that are fed into the map that you can see. Whilst the city pages on IQAir have charts showing the concentrations of several main pollutants, it can also be possible for individuals to know what exactly is going into forming the US AQI reading. US AQI itself is a figure aggregated from several main pollutants, forming the air quality index. The US part refers to the classification system in place used to rank how badly polluted the air is. Due to the highly stringent measures in use in the United States classifications, it can give a clearer idea of how polluted and therefore how potentially harmful the air quality is. Referring to what these US AQI figures seen on the air quality maps are made up from, the main pollutants are ozone or smog as it is more commonly known, often seen in visible accumulations on areas such as busy roads or highways, particularly during very sunny days due to solar radiation playing a large part in causing the formation of ozone on ground level.
Others include nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and particle pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5, which can contain a wide variety of materials that are classified on their size. PM10 generally refers to larger particles, being 10 micrometers, give or take, in diameter, whilst PM2.5 refers to far small and far more dangerous particles that are 2.5 micrometers or less, sometimes going down to sizes many microns smaller. Seeing the US AQI readings present on the air quality maps can be indicative that there will be higher concentrations of these pollutants in the air in areas where the readings are higher.