|4||Taft Heights, California|
|9||West Park, California|
|10||Lake Isabella, California|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 5 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 1.1 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Gardnerville air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Saturday, Dec 4|
Good 24 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 5|
Good 33 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 6|
Good 21 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 7|
Good 31 US AQI
Good 5 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 9|
Good 7 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 10|
Good 8 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 11|
Good 5 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 12|
Good 5 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 13|
Good 5 US AQI
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Gardnerville is located in Douglas County, in the northwestern portion of the state of Nevada. In mid-2021, Gardnerville presented with some very sizeable elevations in air pollution, which would cause several significant hazards for its inhabitants. The US AQI reading was elevated to dangerous levels, with readings that are rarely seen outside of times when there are wildfires present, indicating that there were large amounts of smoke, haze and fine particles permeating the city due to a nearby fire.
The US AQI reading is a figure aggregated from the various main pollutants found in the air, both in Gardnerville and throughout the United States. All of these present health issues when exposure is prolonged, although some are more harmful than others, able to cause a myriad of health issues to certain members of the population, with at-risk groups being all the more susceptible.
The chemical compounds and particle pollutants that go into making up this US AQI aggregate (which is calculated based on the volume of these pollutants present in the air) are one such as ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2) along with the two particle pollutants, PM10 (the larger and coarser variety of particles), and PM2.5 (which is considered as ultrafine and presents a significantly larger risk to one’s health).
Observing some of the readings that were taken in late July of 2021, it can be seen that a US AQI figure of 185 was present. This is extremely high and is classified as 'unhealthy', color-coded as red and requiring a US AQI reading of anywhere between 151 to 200 to be classified as such. the various levels of air quality and their corresponding rating brackets are all color-coded, for ease of reference and navigation through the air quality maps, graphs and forecasts present on both this page and throughout the IQAir website. The more optimal levels of air quality start with lighter color coding, and with each further bracket, the colors get correspondingly darker, with red, purple and maroon indicating the most dangerous levels of air quality (with maroon being one that is rarely seen outside of direct fire zones, being classified as ‘hazardous’ and requiring a US AQI reading of 250.5 and beyond).
At times of such elevated levels of pollution, vulnerable individuals should undertake as many precautionary measures to safeguard against exposure and the subsequent health problems that they bring. These include ones such as wearing fine particle filtering masks, particularly if they are of the highest quality to prevent ultrafine particles from penetrating the lungs. Outdoor activity should be avoided, along with any strenuous activities and exercise, to avoid the increased rate of respiration and thus the possibility of inhaling more hazardous chemicals and fine particles. Windows and doors can also be sealed to prevent the ingress of contaminated air into one’s home. There are some other ways in which indoor pollution levels can also be elevated, typically by using certain products such as air fresheners or scented candles. If available, air purifiers can also be run as they are highly effective in reducing indoor pollution levels.
At the time in which the above-mentioned US AQI reading of 185 was taken, the PM2.5 count was also calculated as being at a concentration of 121.4 μg/m³, or over 12 times that of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recommendation for safe exposure levels. PM2.5 is one of the most dangerous pollutants that can be found in the air, with its minute size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter giving it the ability to penetrate deep into the tissue of the lungs, bypassing the body's natural defense system and causing all manner of ill health effects once inside the body. The size of 2.5 micrometers (on occasion going down to sizes significantly smaller), is approximately 30 times smaller in diameter than that of a human hair, showing just how small their size is and thus its ability to cause damage to many portions of the human body.
This PM2.5 concentration of 121.4 μg/m³ is also within the 'unhealthy' rating bracket, which when taken by PM2.5 standards requires a reading of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³, and is measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m³).
Other US AQI readings that were present over June and July of 2021 went as low as 2 and 7, placing them into the 'good' air quality rating bracket, which is color-coded as green and requires a US AQI reading of 0 to 50, making it the most optimal level of air quality. Past records of air pollution in Gardnerville also show that many months in 2020 fell within the WHO's target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less for the best quality of air, with the closest to 0 of course being the most optimal.
This is indicative that whilst Gardnerville may be subject to some high levels of air pollution, it also has many months of the year and days in which the air quality is considerably cleaner and freer from smoke, haze, fine particles and other contaminating agents. Other US AQI readings present were 67 and 73, placing Gardnerville into the 'moderate' air quality rating bracket (51 to 100 required) and color-coded as yellow. Further readings of 105 and 150 were also taken, placing the city into the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' rating bracket, color-coded as orange and requiring 101 to 150 on the US AQI scale.
This shows the wide variety of air quality that the city is subject to, and as such, pollution levels should be monitored closely. Hourly updates can be followed via the air quality map present on this page, or by using the AirVisual app. Forecasts may be subject to rapid changes due to occurrences such as fires, or adverse meteorological conditions causing pollution spikes to appear. In closing, Gardnerville is a city in which the air quality can drop down to very appreciable levels, which can change rapidly depending on factors such as wildfires, anthropogenic activity and weather conditions.
Besides the previously mentioned wildfires causing massive spikes in air pollution throughout Gardnerville as well as many other cities throughout the state of Nevada, there would also be many other causes of pollution that can raise the year-round ambient pollution levels, causing some months to come in with higher readings than they would if these sources would not so pervasive (usually based around anthropogenic and industrial activities).
These include ones such as pollution emitted from vehicles. Many cars, motorbikes and other personal vehicles would be in use throughout Nevada, with many passing through Gardnerville as well as taking its citizens on their daily commutes in and out of the city. The combustion of fuel in these vehicles’ engines can lead to smoke and haze being emitted, as well as secondary pollutants such as ozone formed on the road. Ozone is one of the more closely monitored air pollutants found throughout the United States and can blanket busy roads and motorways with a visible layer that can cause many adverse effects to the health of those who are exposed.
Besides smaller personal vehicles being in use, heavier freight vehicles such as lorries, buses and trucks can be found on the roads leading in and out of Gardnerville. These larger vehicles often utilize diesel as their main fuel source, and as such can put out far greater amounts of pollution, due to the combustion of fossil fuels such as diesel leading to greater amounts of chemical compounds and contaminating particles being released. Furthermore, all vehicles release a steady quantity of microscopic rubber particles into the atmosphere, as well as into bodies of water or topsoil. The eventual wear and tear of tire treads can lead to many tons of such material being deposited into the surrounding environment over the years, which can have many of its own negative effects on the ecosystem, environment, as well as the health of individuals who may inhale the finely ground particles.
Other sources of air pollution include repairs to roads, construction sites as well as demolition sites. Whilst these are not a year-round occurrence, particularly for smaller locations such as Gardnerville, their presence can cause many finely ground silica, gravel and other mineral dust particles to become airborne, causing significant spikes in the PM10 and PM2.5 count if left unchecked. This is particularly prominent in poorly guarded or maintained construction sites, which can leak far more particles into the air if piles of sand and other similar materials are not adequately covered.
Lastly, other sources of pollution would be those that are emitted from industrial zones, which can include factories as well as power plants. Many power plants utilize large amounts of coal to provide power to numerous homes and businesses. The combustion of coal, natural gas, oil and diesel (also used in heavy machinery on construction sites) can cause many pollutants to buildup, and with adverse weather conditions (such as slow or non-existent winds as well as a lack of rain to tamp down larger particles in the air), the pollution level can begin to creep up during certain months of the year. Of note is that Nevada’s natural terrain allows for many fine particles to be whipped up into the air by wind or vehicles, being another contributing factor. As it stands, however, wildfires are responsible for the largest spikes in air pollution seen on record.
Some of the pollutants that would be present in the air throughout Gardnerville would be those used in the US AQI index. Ozone itself is formed from the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx), as well as other gases or pollutants that are exposed to solar radiation, and as such being far more prominent during the hotter months of the year. As mentioned, ozone is a secondary pollutant, meaning that it forms in the atmosphere as a result of certain pollutants undergoing chemical reactions in the right weather conditions. Primary pollutants are those that are released directly from a singular source such as a fire, car engine or factory boiler. Of note is that certain pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide can be both primary and secondary pollutants.
Other prominent ones would be volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and black carbon, both of which are formed from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and most prominently during times of wildfires, the combustion of organic material. Wood and other combustible organic matter must be properly prepared for burning and done so under the right conditions (dry and moisture-free wood, burnt in an efficient stove or wood burner), and the burning of living trees and many other plants can lead to a plethora of damaging pollutants being released. Large amounts of black carbon, the main component in soot, can be released, traveling many miles from their source.
Some examples of VOCs include benzene, which can cause cancer and many other negative effects. Toluene, xylene and formaldehyde also fall under the VOC bracket. Other pollutants that may be found in certain industrial sites include mercury, lead and cadmium, along with dioxins and furans.
Observing the air quality data on record for the year 2020, it can be seen that Gardnerville had its highest levels of air pollution towards the end of the year. The months of August and September had the highest readings by a significant amount, coming in at 17.2 μg/m³ and 52.7 μg/m³ respectively. The months following these two were mildly elevated in their readings, yet not enough to cause any significant damage to human health. September’s reading caused it to be the most polluted month of 2020, and one that sat in the higher end of the 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' rating bracket.
The months of March through to July of 2020 had the most optimal air quality readings present. Whilst there were a total of ten months that fell into the WHO's target bracket of 10 μg/m³ or below, the months of March to July came in with far more optimal readings, with PM2.5 readings of 4 μg/m³, 3 μg/m³, 3 μg/m³, 3.8 μg/m³ and 4.7 μg/m³ respectively. This put both April and May into the cleanest positions of the entire year, indicating a time in which the air would be extremely clean, freer from any contaminating elements, smoke, haze and fine particle pollutants.