|3||Klamath Falls, Oregon|
|7||Eagle Point, Oregon|
|9||Fort Jones, California|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
5:08, Aug 5
live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 107 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 37.9 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Aurora air is currently 3 times above WHO exposure recommendation
|Sunday, Aug 1|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 115 US AQI
|Monday, Aug 2|
Moderate 73 US AQI
|Tuesday, Aug 3|
Moderate 60 US AQI
|Wednesday, Aug 4|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 111 US AQI
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Friday, Aug 6|
Good 50 US AQI
|Saturday, Aug 7|
Moderate 56 US AQI
|Sunday, Aug 8|
Moderate 61 US AQI
|Monday, Aug 9|
Moderate 57 US AQI
|Tuesday, Aug 10|
Moderate 59 US AQI
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Aurora is a city located in the U.S state of Colorado, being adjacent to Denver, which is the capital city and most populous of the entire state. Aurora itself still has a sizeable population, with over 325 thousand people estimated to be living there, from a census conducted in 2010, and thus will have likely grown in the decade since. With this population data on record, it stands as the 3rd most populous city within the state, as well as 54th in the United States.
The city itself has much of its economy and employment based around the military, healthcare centers and higher education facilities. With its relatively large population, coupled with the fact that it is in close proximity to the city of Denver, Aurora would subsequently be subject to some pollution related issues, due to the mass movement of people in and out of the city. Major cities tend to have people find employment within their limits, yet live in other cities nearby for a multitude of reasons, which can lead to excess vehicular use and thus larger amounts of air pollution being generated.
In 2021, Aurora was seen with a mixed variety of PM2.5 readings, ranging from ones as low as 1.9 μg/m³ all the way up to 21.3 μg/m³. This is an extremely high reading, and whilst these elevated readings of PM2.5 generally came in sporadic spikes, the fact that they are occurring often enough is of great concern, particularly regarding the health of its citizens. This reading of 21.3 μg/m³ would place Aurora at that particular time into the higher end of the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
As mentioned previously, the many people moving through the city on their daily commutes would be one of the more prominent additions to decreased air quality in Aurora. Large scale overuse of cars, motorbikes and other personal vehicles would lead to build-ups of chemical pollutants and hazardous particulate matter accumulating in the air. This excessive use can also lead to thousands of tons of fine rubber particles being dispersed into the surrounding areas and atmosphere due to large scale wear and tear on tire treads, displaying that it is not just engines that are the sole source of pollution from cars.
Other sources of pollution are ones such as power plants and factories. Factories oftentimes rely on fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas for their energy supplies, as well as diesel for their heavy machinery. These can all put out their own variety of noxious pollutants, as well as factories being able to give off their own industrial effluence based on whatever product is being manufactured (although with proper containment protocols in place, this can be limited).
Natural occurring events such as forest fires in surrounding areas or states can also cause massive pollution spikes, with the direction of the wind determining whether or not a city will be subject to the vast smoke clouds that arise from these events. Other sources of pollution include construction sites, road repairs, and even demolition areas, all of which can throw up large amounts of hazardous particulate matter into the air, as well as releasing certain heavy metals and other dangerous materials.
Some health issues related to breathing air during episodes of higher pollution in Aurora would be numerous, with more surface level ones such as coughing, chest pains and infection occurring within short periods of time. Irritation to the respiratory tract can also occur, with inflammation of the lung tissue happening as a result of certain chemicals being inhaled.
Mucous membranes can also be affected, with the nose, eyes, mouth and ears all being subject to aggravation, along with the skin having possible rash breakouts when pollution or particulate matter exposure is excessive. Some skin conditions include acne, atopic dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis, all of which can be either caused or worsened by exposure to low quality air.
Other health issues include heightened instances of cancer, due to the carcinogenic nature of many of the chemical compounds and PM2.5 or PM10 particles, some of which will be discussed in short. Scarring or rapid aging of the lungs can occur when enough pollution is respired, which can result in reduced lung capacity, as well as chances for serious conditions such as ischemic heart disease, heart attacks or even strokes to occur. In terms of respiratory issues, many conditions that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket can appear, which include ones such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
In reference to the previous question regarding the various sources of pollution, they would typically release a large amount of the same pollutants, many of which are used to calculate the overall AQI, or air quality index, of which PM2.5 is a major component. Vehicles would release large amounts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), as well as sulfur dioxide (SO2), both of which can cause airway irritation and inflammation, as well as increasing the chances of acid rain to occur.
Black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's) can also be released, along with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's). Black carbon is the main component in soot, and a potent carcinogen when inhaled, counted amongst many other cancer-causing pollutants such as silica dust or benzene. Some examples of the previously mentioned VOC's include chemicals such as methylene chloride, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde.
In order to maintain the best status of health amongst the general population, it is important for certain groups to be aware that they may be more at risk than others in regards to pollution exposure, typically related to factors such as age, physical background and overall health level. These groups include ones such as pregnant mothers, who are extremely vulnerable to the damaging effects that pollution inhalation can have on the health of their unborn child.
Others include the elderly, as well as young children, and those with hypersensitivity towards certain chemical pollutants. Those with preexisting health conditions or compromised immune systems are also at risk, and should refer to the air quality maps available on the IQAir website as well as the AirVisual app to stay up to date on when the air is at its most polluted, and take preventative measures such as wearing fine particle filtering masks or avoiding strenuous outdoor activity.