|9||Lake Stevens, Washington|
|10||Woods Creek, Washington|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 40 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Corpus Christi is currently 2 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Good 33 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Good 39 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Good 49 US AQI
Good 40 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 5|
Good 21 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 6|
Good 22 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 7|
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 8|
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 9|
Good 49 US AQI
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Corpus Christi is a city located in the southern region of Texas, situated on the coast and home to the county seat of Nueces County, the fourteenth most populous county in the state. Corpus Christi is the largest city of said county, being home to some 326,000 people as of 2019 (estimated), having seen an increase of over 20,000 people since the last census taken in 2010.
In regards to the air quality present in Corpus Christi, it is a city with an overall good level of cleanliness but is also subject to certain months whereby the pollution levels can spike up significantly, with the same pollutive hazards that much of Texas is also subject to. Many of these polluting sources will be discussed in further detail in the following questions. The air quality data from 2020 will be largely examined, as well as some of the pollution readings taken in mid-2021, both in the forms of PM2.5 as well as US AQI.
Looking at PM2.5, it is one of the most dangerous pollutants found in the air, with its minute size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter assisting greatly in its hazardous nature, allowing it to penetrate deep into the tissue of the lungs, bypassing the body’s natural defense systems. Once inside the lungs, it can cause irritation, scarring and inflammation of the lung tissue and respiratory tract, causing a whole host of other issues to arise as a result, usually of the pulmonary or cardiac variety. Once again due to its small size, it can enter the bloodstream via the alveoli, causing much damage to the blood vessels and other organ systems throughout the body. This is why it is used so prominently as a measure of air pollution, along with being used in the US AQI calculation.
Referring to the US AQI level, or the United States Air Quality Index, it is a figure aggregated from the various main pollutants found in the air throughout Corpus Christi, as well as the rest of the state. These pollutants are ones such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and carbon monoxide (CO). The two main forms of particle pollution, PM10 and PM2.5 are also included in the aggregation, as was mentioned above in regards to the smaller and more dangerous particle variant of the two. PM10 tends to cause more irritation or damage to the eyes, nose and other exposed mucous membranes, whilst PM2.5 can cause significantly more internal injuries and other long-term health consequences.
In July of 2021, a US AQI reading of 55 was seen, placing Corpus Christi into the 'moderate' rating bracket for the particular day and time in which it was taken. This 'moderate' rating is color-coded as yellow, in use throughout the various air quality maps, graphs and forecasts present on both this page and others, for ease of reference when referring to the air quality safety levels (with the higher and more dangerous readings of pollution having corresponding red, purple and maroon as the air quality grows ever more hazardous, which can happen in cases of forest fires or other large-scale smoke-producing events).
A 'moderate' reading of pollution requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such, and whilst the above-mentioned reading of 55 came in on the lower end of this scale, close to being moved down into the 'good' rating bracket (0 to 50 US AQI required, color-coded as green), the PM2.5 count was found to be above the World Health Organization's (WHO's) recommendation for safe levels of exposure, particularly over extended periods.
This means that whilst the general public or health individuals may be able to go about their day with little aggravation, those who belong to vulnerable groups of people may start to experience mild respiratory irritation, which will grow along with the US AQI reading, with higher numbers correlating with higher incidences of ailments such as asthma, skin problems and other similar issues presenting themselves.
Days before the above-mentioned reading came in with US AQI figures of 19 and 36, both of which were within the 'good' rating bracket. At this level of air quality, all members of society would be able to conduct their outdoor business or participate in strenuous activity without fear of aggravating any pre-existing health conditions that are triggered by pollution exposure. Despite these more appreciable readings, June of 2021 presented with highs of 75 and 93. It is at times such as these when vulnerable individuals would start to display certain symptoms and may need to take preventive measures to safeguard themselves from the highly damaging effects of pollution exposure.
Such actions can be ones such as the wearing of particle filtering masks, with higher quality ones being the most optimal. Avoiding outdoor activity or exercise would also be of importance, along with sealing off doors and windows and running indoor air purifiers if available. This can aid greatly in reducing indoor air pollution levels, thus significantly reducing the damaging effects that pollution exposure brings with it. As mentioned, even cleaner cities such as Corpus Christi and other similar ones can be subject to sudden spikes in PM2.5 and US AQI. These can be monitored closely via the air quality map and graph present on this page, along with forecasts for the following days that are updated hourly. Such updates can also be followed using the AirVisual app.
Of note is that as common sense would dictate, whilst higher levels of pollution, of course, bring with them a greater chance of adverse health effects, any level of pollution at all can bring with it negative side effects, particularly amongst the aforementioned vulnerable portions of the population. These include people such as young children, toddlers and babies, all of whom are highly susceptible to the damaging effects that particle pollution or chemical exposure can bring. These damaging effects include alterations to the nervous system, the appearance of skin rashes and respiratory issues such as asthma in young children, all of which can evolve into lifelong issues if exposure is severe enough, or sustained over longer periods of time. This leads on to how some people may be more at risk due to where they are situated, with people who live in lower-income districts with close proximity to power plants and industrial sites bearing the brunt of the pollution given off by such areas, as well as those that live near to busier roads having higher amounts of particle exposure. Other vulnerable groups include the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and pre-existing health conditions, as well as pregnant women.
Pregnant women are particularly at risk of pollution exposure, with many adverse effects all being possible. These include babies being born with low birth weight, prematurely, or with increased chances of a miscarriage occurring. Furthermore, expectant mothers who are subject to higher levels of pollution during the pregnancy period may give birth to children with both mental and physical defects, due to the highly damaging effects that certain chemicals can have on the nervous system.
Corpus Christi, much like the rest of Texas, sees its pollution arising from several similar sources. These include ambient ones such as vehicular emissions and fumes. With increasing vehicle ownership going up alongside a rising population, the impending threat of vehicle-related pollution remains ever prominent, although moves towards more environmentally friendly alternatives such as electric cars, better public transport infrastructure and walking or cycling initiatives are effective ways at putting a dent in vehicle-related pollution (along with changes in fuel standards and regulations).
Alongside the numerous cars, motorbikes and other smaller vehicles giving off consistent fumes both day and night (in particular during rush hour times), there are also heavier freight vehicles adding to the pollution output, with many of these larger vehicles such as lorries and trucks oftentimes utilizing diesel as their main fuel source. This can lead to far greater releases of pollution, with the resulting combusted fuel emanating large amounts of smoke, haze and fine particles. When regarding all forms of vehicles, there is also the issue of microscopic rubber particles entering into the atmosphere, as well as contaminating the water and topsoil, potentially making their way into the food chain. Many tons of such material can be released from the gradual wear and tear of rubber tires, being detrimental to both human health and the environment and various ecosystems.
Other prominent sources of pollution would be from refineries, power plants and factories. Many of these places also utilize fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and diesel for energy (with construction sites often using machinery that runs on diesel as well, thus being another contributor to pollution levels.) Other sources of pollution include road repairs and demolition sites, both of which can release large amounts of fine particles. Industrial activity is one of the largest contributors to air pollution in Corpus Christi, with vehicles following closely behind. The occasional appearance of forest fires can also cause pollution levels to skyrocket, with plumes of smoke being able to travel many miles from their original burning site, settling over cities a great distance away and causing their PM2.5 to go up considerably.
Unfavorable meteorological conditions such as lack of rain to tamp down larger particles in the air can add to the issue during certain months of the year. Wind also remains one of the most important factors in removing pollutants from the air, and its absence can cause pollution levels to accumulate. These are some pollutive causes that one would find throughout Corpus Christi, bearing many similarities to other cities throughout Texas. The cities yearly PM2.5 reading of 7.9 μg/m³ placed Corpus Christi in 46th place out of all cities ranked in Texas as of 2020, as well as 3701st place out of all cities ranked worldwide.
Whilst the pollution levels remained within the World Health Organization's (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air, throughout most of the year, sudden elevations or extended exposure to pollution can bring with it several adverse health issues. These include ones such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an umbrella term that refers to ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia.
Other health issues that may occur include increased instances of cancer, particularly of the lungs and skin, but not entirely limited to these two organs due to the pervasive nature of highly carcinogenic pollutants or particles such as benzene or black carbon (the main component of soot) and their ability to enter the bloodstream and travel to the furthest reaches of the body. This can also result in other severe issues such as heart attacks, arrhythmias, strokes, ischemic heart disease, and in the more severe cases, death.
Observing the pollution levels on record throughout 2020 as a reference point, it can be seen that Corpus Christi had a distinctly cleaner period of air quality in January, November and December. This indicates a pattern whereby the air quality improves towards the end of the year, with this cleaner air still being on record in the early months of the following year before they start to rise again. The readings of these three months were 5.4 μg/m³, 4.3 μg/m³ and 4.6 μg/m³ respectively, placing them well within the lower end of the WHO's target bracket, and making November the cleanest month of the year with a very respectable level of air quality.
Whilst many months maintained more optimal levels of air quality and an absence of pollution, there were two months on record in 2020 that went up two whole ratings, moving out of the WHO's target goal and into the 'moderate' air pollution bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³.
June and July came in with the highest readings of PM2.5, with figures of 12.2 μg/m³ and 12.3 μg/m³ respectively, making them both similar, and July as the most polluted month of the year. It is during periods such as these that preventative measures become the most necessary to safeguard one's health from pollution exposure.