Air quality in Riverside

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Riverside

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What is the current weather in Riverside?

Weather icon
WeatherBroken clouds
Wind8.1 mp/h
Pressure1016 mb

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live Riverside aqi ranking

Real-time Riverside air quality ranking

#stationUS AQI
1 Addison Road


(local time)




live AQI index

Human face indicating AQI level


What is the current air quality in Riverside?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 42 US AQIPM2.5



PM2.5 concentration in Riverside is currently 2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

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How to protect from air pollution in Riverside?

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Riverside air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Monday, Jul 4

Moderate 75 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon89.6°69.8°
Wind rotating 11 degree

8.9 mp/h

Tuesday, Jul 5

Good 48 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°68°
Wind rotating 42 degree

8.9 mp/h

Wednesday, Jul 6

Moderate 60 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon84.2°68°
Wind rotating 130 degree

4.5 mp/h


Good 42 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon73.4°66.2°
Wind rotating 55 degree

13.4 mp/h

Friday, Jul 8

Good 41 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon75.2°64.4°
Wind rotating 55 degree

8.9 mp/h

Saturday, Jul 9

Good 27 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°62.6°
Wind rotating 174 degree

4.5 mp/h

Sunday, Jul 10

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon84.2°64.4°
Wind rotating 247 degree

11.2 mp/h

Monday, Jul 11

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon82.4°68°
Wind rotating 280 degree

11.2 mp/h

Tuesday, Jul 12

Good 22 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon84.2°66.2°
Wind rotating 289 degree

8.9 mp/h

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Historic air quality graph for Riverside

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Riverside


What is the current level of air pollution in Riverside?

Riverside is a suburban village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. According to a 2010 census, Riverside had an estimated population of 9,000 people. It is thought of as a suburb of Chicago as it is located just 14 kilometers west of the city center.

Towards the middle of 2021, Riverside was enjoying a period of “Good” air quality with a US AQI reading of just 47. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If records for all six are not available then a figure is calculated using what information is available. In the case of Riverside, the only pollutant which was recorded was PM2.5 with a level of 11.4 µg/m³. This figure is slightly higher than the target figure of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

With a low level of pollution such as this, doors and windows can be freely opened to allow the ingress of clean, fresh air into the rooms and all forms of outdoor exercise can be enjoyed without fear.

Does the level of pollution vary throughout the year in Riverside?

Looking back at the figures for 2020 which were published by the Swiss air monitoring company, it can be easily seen that the best air quality was attained during March and April with figures of 5.8 and 9.5 µg/m³, respectively. Figures as low as these fall below the target figure of 10 µg/m³ as recommended by the World Health Organisation. The months of May and December returned the next best quality when the quality was classified as “Good” with readings between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For the remaining eight months, the quality slipped into the “Moderate” category with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³.

Historically, records regarding air quality were first kept in 2017 when the annual average figure was recorded as being 13.8 µg/m³. A slight improvement was seen in 2018 with a figure of 12.8 µg/m³, and again the following year when 12.4 µg/m³ was recorded. Strangely, the figure for 2020 was higher, coming in at 14.4 µg/m³. This is strange because of the restrictions enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer used as the drivers were furloughed and not required to commute to and from work. There were also many factories and other non-essential production units which were temporarily closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus. In other cities, these regulations drastically reduced the level of pollution due to the reduced flow of traffic.

What are the sources of air pollution in Riverside?

Smog can be found in most modern cities where vehicles commute on a daily basis. It is more common in cities with sunny, warm, dry climates and a large number of motor vehicles. But because it is light enough to be carried by the wind, it often affects less populated areas too.

This is the case with Riverside, because of its geographic location they suffer from more wind-blown pollution than they generate themselves. It mainly comes from large cities and is blown through gaps in the mountain range and deposits itself on Riverside and surrounding areas.

One of the most harmful forms of air pollution is fine particulate matter (PM2.5) created by cars, trucks, and buses.

Particle pollution in the air is a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter are so small that they can bypass the body’s defense system and get into the lungs, and may cause serious health problems. Smog can be a problem in many cities and harms human health, especially senior citizens, children, and people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma.

What is an Air Pollution Action Day in Illinois?

When ozone levels are expected to rise above a certain level the local authorities declare an Air Pollution Action Day. It is a warning system so that people from sensitive groups can take extra precautions. Ozone, which is often referred to as smog, develops in the atmosphere from gases that come out of vehicle exhausts, factory chimneys and other additional sources.

People with pre-existing respiratory diseases such as asthma, children and young teens, those of 65 years of age and older along with people who routinely exercise for six or more hours a day were advised to take the following steps to reduce exposure: chose less strenuous exercise such as power-walking instead of running. Shorten the length of exposure to the polluted air by moving to an indoor venue and return outside once the air quality has improved.

These conditions may appear more severe or occur more frequently during the hotter summer months because ozone is formed during strong hours of sunlight.

Residents can take the following steps to help reduce the creation of ozone:

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, cycle, or work from home when possible.
  • Combine errands into one trip.
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your car well maintained, and don’t let your engine idle unnecessarily

What can be done to improve the air quality in Riverside, Illinois?

Every year, diesel-powered vehicles and heavy equipment create thousands of tons of air pollution in Illinois. These vehicles and pieces of equipment are usually operated at street level, where they emit concentrated air pollutants exactly where people breathe. Diesel pollution is harmful to human health, contributing to asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer, stroke and, in extreme cases, premature death.

Solutions are now available to lessen the risk of heavily polluted fumes emitted from diesel-powered engines. But more needs to be done to ensure that this technology is being fully implemented. Clean construction policies can be adopted voluntarily by a contractor and can be part of the bidding requirements for specific projects. Contractors who are committed to the use of clean technology are more likely to be awarded the contract, especially if it is offered through the local authorities.

Coal-burning power stations are the single largest sources of soot or black carbon air pollution in the United States. Respiratory Health Association works to prevent air pollution from coal plants whilst working to increase clean renewable power sources that don’t emit air pollution, such as wind and solar. By seeking increased clean energy resources and reduced consumer demand through energy efficiency strategies, Illinois will reduce air pollution from coal-fired power stations.

Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, two of the largest sources of air pollution in Chicago were closed down. Between them they produced tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide every year. These were two of the largest coal-fired power stations which were built before 1970. Following a legal wrangle, two more were closed in 2019. Another one is due to be closed before the end of 2022. As a result of the legal action, a settlement figure of over $1.5 million will be used for lung health improvement programs in schools, health departments and medical facilities in the local region.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and all-electric vehicles emit far less pollution than conventional vehicles running on gasoline and diesel. The current mayor of Chicago has committed to electrifying the Chicago Transit Authority bus fleet by 2030. To replace the fleet of more than 1,600 diesel-only buses with 100 percent battery-powered electric buses would save nearly 55,000 tons of greenhouse gases every year, equal to removing more than 10,600 cars from the road.

Private individuals could be encouraged to change their mode of transport to electric through the use of subsidies and incentives.

Recent air monitoring data show the entire Chicago area now meets the national standard set to protect public health. For the past 25 years, the local authorities have been working with both public and private sectors to reduce air pollution from the transport sector. It has taken a combination of both voluntary efforts and also regulatory efforts that have shown solid results in the lower levels of air pollution. This achievement was attained by the use of renewable and other alternative fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, compressed natural gas, propane and electricity. Nationally, the concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has decreased 41 percent from 2000 to 2017.

What is the ozone pollution rate in Riverside now?

The American Lung Association produces an annual “State of the Air” report which states just how much ozone is present in the air, amongst other things. In 2019 it was ranked as being the 19th most polluted city in the US which was even worse than the previous year when it was ranked as 22nd. The report went on to say that more than four in ten Americans are living with unhealthy air. Compared to this 2019 report, the 2020 report tells of five more unhealthy days of high ozone pollution. This is mainly driven by vehicle emissions and extreme heat as a result of climate change.

Each year the “State of the Air” report shows the two most prevalent outdoor air pollutants, ozone which is also known as smog, and particle pollution which is sometimes referred to as soot. Both ozone and particle pollution are dangerous to public health and can increase the risk of premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm.

Riverside and Chicago's air quality was rated an "F" for ozone pollution and rated a "B" for particle pollution. Ozone pollution can harm even strong, healthy people, but is particularly dangerous for children under the age of 14 years, older adults and people with pre-existing lung diseases like COPD or asthma. Breathing ozone-polluted air can trigger asthma attacks in all who suffer from it. Warmer temperatures help to produce more ozone and also make it harder to eliminate.

What are the effects of air pollution on health?

In the last few years as people have become more aware of air pollution and the detrimental effect it can have on human health many measures have been taken to help mitigate the situation. These measurements include:

  • Cleaner engines with better filtration systems,
  • Smog checks,
  • Vapor recovery nozzles in gasoline pumps,
  • Regulations for solvents that are present in paint and similar products,
  • State-wide regulations regarding the number of solvents found in consumer products,
  • Regional air quality standards that continually reduce emissions from more than 26,000 businesses.

Scientific evidence shows that lung damage is caused by prolonged exposure to lower levels of ozone-polluted air which poses the greatest health risk. Averaging ozone levels for eight hours provides a higher level of protection, especially for children and those adults who spend a significant portion of their time working or playing outdoors. These groups are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ozone.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) superseded the old Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) in 1999 and introduced a new category which was “Unhealthy for sensitive groups”. This category was created to provide precautionary information to sensitive individuals so that they can minimize their exposure to air pollution and plan their time accordingly. The whole system is color-coded for ease of understanding and it uses uniform colors throughout all its publications.

Air pollution can affect all people, even the young, strong ones who used to think they were immune to such things. Pregnant women and children under the age of 14 years as well as senior citizens are among the most susceptible. As are people who need to be outside for prolonged periods due to their job. People with pre-existing respiratory problems will be badly affected due to the weaker conditions of their lungs.

High levels of air pollution can cause immediate health problems such as putting more stress on the heart and lungs which must work harder to supply the level of oxygen that the body needs.

Prolonged exposure to polluted air can have permanent health effects and can lead to accelerated aging of the lungs and loss of lung capacity and possible premature death.

Riverside air quality data attribution

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