|2||La Mirada, California|
|9||San Gabriel, California|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
City AQI based on satellite data. No ground level station currently available in Natick.
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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 34 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 8.1 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Natick air is currently 1.6 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Saturday, Nov 27|
|Sunday, Nov 28|
|Monday, Nov 29|
|Tuesday, Nov 30|
Good 32 US AQI
Good 34 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 2|
Good 25 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 3|
Good 16 US AQI
|Saturday, Dec 4|
Good 13 US AQI
|Sunday, Dec 5|
Good 26 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 6|
Good 27 US AQI
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Natick is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. According to the 2010 census, the estimated population was approximately 33,000 people. It is situated 16 kilometers to the west of Boston and is part of the Boston Metropolitan area. Another census was conducted in 2014 which showed a large growth in numbers which made it one of Boston’s fastest-growing towns.
At the beginning of July 2021, Natick was going through a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 54. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is used to compare the quality of air in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If figures for all six are not available, then a figure is calculated using what data there is. In the case of Natick, only PM2.5 was measured which was 13.7 µg/m³. This can be seen to be slightly over the target figure of 10 µg/m³, as suggested by the WHO.
When air pollution is classified as “Moderate” the given advice is to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more dirty air into the rooms. Those who are sensitive to poor air quality should try to remain indoors as much as possible until the quality improves. The table published at the top of this page should help with that decision.
Air pollution can be very volatile and is easily affected by many variables such as the seasons of the year, temperature and sunlight hours.
Looking back at the figures published by IQAir.com for 2020, it can be seen that the worst month for air quality was February when a figure of 12.7 µg/m³ was noted. For the two months of July and November, the air quality showed an improvement by entering the “Good” category with readings of 10.7 µg/m³ for both months. For the remaining 9 months, the air quality was below the target figure of 10 µg/m³ as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). During March and May, the very low figures of 4.7 and 4.5 µg/m³ were recorded.
Historically, figures have only been kept since 2019 when the recorded level was 8.5 µg/m³ followed by a drop to 7.5 µg/m³ in 2020. However, this may not be a true reflection of reality because of the restrictions imposed 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 on a daily basis. 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.
Main roads are crucial arteries of our transportation system, but the air emissions from all those vehicles could pose a serious health risk to anyone living, working or going to school near a main road. New research from several Boston-area universities shows transportation-related air pollution may be even more harmful than previously thought, leaving some of society’s most vulnerable at greater risk from heart attack and stroke.
There is no denying that vehicle pollution is the major contributor to air pollution, especially in urban cities. When vehicles burn gasoline, it emits pollutants in the air which are harmful. A vehicle emits carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter. When vehicle pollution is high in the atmosphere, it creates a hole in the ozone layer contributing to smog and causing various health issues.
Most air pollution is due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gasoline to produce energy for electricity or transportation. The release of carbon monoxide in high levels indicates how much fossil fuel is burned. This process also emits other toxic pollutants into the air. Inhaling air contaminated with pollutants due to the burning of natural gas and fossil fuel reduces the heart’s ability to pump enough oxygen causing one to suffer respiratory illness.
Industrial activities emit several pollutants into the air that affects the air quality.
Particulate matter PM2.5 and PM10, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide are key pollutants that are emitted from industries that use coal and wood as their primary energy source for production.
The use of toxic products also called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), inadequate ventilation, uneven temperature, and humidity levels can cause indoor air pollution, whether you are in an office, school or in your home. Interior air pollution can take place due to ignorant factors, for instance, smoking tobacco inside a room or leaving mold-infected walls untreated. The use of wood stoves or space heaters is capable of increasing the humidity level which can directly affect the health of a person quickly. Household products cause indoor air pollution which can be 10 times more harmful than outdoor air pollution. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) found in paints, cleaners and personal care products such as perfume and deodorants are a reason for common heath issues. Risks such as asthma or other respiratory issues and lung disease are other issues cause by inhaling poor indoor air quality.
Climate change is not just increasing the occurrence of wildfires but also spiking air pollution. Burning stubble and organic residue is also a major contribution to wildfires. It causes increased PM2.5 in the air which collides with other harmful substances such as chemical gas and pollen creating smog. Smog makes the air hazy and people find it difficult to breathe.
Agricultural activities have had a serious impact on the decreasing air quality. To start with pesticides and fertilizers are the main sources of contaminating the surrounding air. Nowadays, pesticides and fertilizers are mixed with new invasive species which are not found in nature, for quick growth of the crops and vegetation. Once they are sprayed onto the crop, the smell and the effect of the pesticides linger in the air. Some mix with water and some seep into the ground which not only destroys the crops but also causes numerous health-related issues.
The Clean Air Act of 1970 has done a great job in requiring people to clean up the air in the United States. Emissions of the six major pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrous oxides, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulates PM2.5 and PM10, have decreased by more than 50 percent. Cars, power plants, and factories individually release less pollution than they did in the mid-20th century. But there are many more cars, power plants and factories now, and many pollutants are being released and some substances are pollutants that were not known to be pollutants in the past. There is still much work to be done to continue to clean up the air.
Using less fossil fuel is one way to lessen pollution. Some examples of ways to conserve fossil fuels are to cycle or walk instead of driving. Consider using public transport or try carpooling. Buying a car that has greater fuel efficiency or consider buying an eco-friendly electric vehicle. Motor vehicle exhaust not only contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog but also contains toxic air pollutants that harm our health and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Although hybrid and electric vehicles are growing in popularity, most of the 4.6 million cars, trucks, buses, and SUVs registered in Massachusetts are still powered by internal combustion engines that burn fossil fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Both fuels contain mixtures of hydrocarbons which are compounds that contain both hydrogen and carbon atoms. In a "perfect" engine, oxygen from the air would convert all of the fuel's hydrogen to water, and carbon to carbon dioxide. No combustion process is perfect, though, so both gasoline and diesel vehicles have emission control systems that reduce (but don't eliminate) harmful air pollutants.
Unnecessary idling which is running a vehicle's engine for longer than five minutes when the vehicle is stopped is against both state law and a MassDEP regulation. An idling engine pollutes the air more than driving does, worsening smog and global climate change. Fumes can seep into the passenger compartment whilst the vehicle is not moving which can be very dangerous to breathe in the carbon monoxide.
Massachusetts is providing motorists, commercial and municipal fleet managers, and both public and private employers with financial incentives for putting cleaner vehicles on the road and building the infrastructure needed to support them. The local authority currently offers rebates of up to $2,500 for private purchase or lease of zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles through a designated program. There are extensive plans to gradually replace the old diesel-powered municipal vehicles with electric variants or ones that use cleaner fuels.
PM stands for particulate matter: the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires whilst others form in the atmosphere under ultraviolet light as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.
PM10 are inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller and PM2.5 which are fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter which makes it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.
PM2.5 is the largest environmental health risk factor in the United States, responsible for 63 percent of deaths from environmental causes. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream.
Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart and various other health problems are associated with these fine particles, such as premature death in people with heart or lung disease, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function and increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing or difficulty breathing.
People with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults are the most likely to be affected by particle pollution exposure.
Inhaling poor air on a daily basis, such as that found in cities, has been shown to pose a great health risk. However, living with this type of problem, and the fact that the greatest risks of this exposure to pollution are long-term, causes much of the fear and interest in protecting oneself from this problem to be lost.
The body's main vulnerability to air pollution is in the respiratory system. The bronchi and lungs are the parts most exposed to the harmful gases that we breathe, and therefore they are the organs that suffer the most from pollution problems.
Asthma is characterized by an inflammation of the airways that leads to a decrease in lung capacity and respiratory distress. It can be occasional, in response to a specific exposure to polluted air, but if it is prolonged over time it can become a chronic and very dangerous disease.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lower respiratory tract, mainly the bronchial tubes that carry air to the lungs. This disease makes it difficult for air to reach the alveoli and therefore reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood. A very dangerous situation for health and that can lead to many other complications. Bronchitis also predisposes the appearance of respiratory infections, reduces lung capacity and causes characteristic wheezing in the chest when breathing.