Air quality in Arlington

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

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Weather

What is the current weather in Arlington?

Weather icon
WeatherScattered clouds
Temperature89.6°C
Humidity66%
Wind8.1 mp/h
Pressure1015 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time USA city ranking

#cityUS AQI
1 Hayfork, California

175

2 Dayton, Montana

169

3 Cave Junction, Oregon

154

4 Redwood, Oregon

134

5 Grants Pass, Oregon

129

6 Jacksonville, Oregon

118

7 Brawley, California

117

8 Elkton, Maryland

113

9 La Jolla, California

112

10 Medford, Oregon

112

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Arlington aqi ranking

Real-time Arlington air quality ranking

#stationUS AQI
1 Aurora Hills

74

2 King Greenleaf Rec Center

43

3 1000 N Randolph St

41

4 4501 Arlington Blvd

40

5 4608 3oth Rd South

38

6 North Highlands

38

7 Fairfax Drive

37

8 Aurora Hills Visitors Center

35

9 North Fillmore Street

28

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

38

live AQI index
Good

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Arlington?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 38 US AQIPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
9.2µg/m³
!

PM2.5

x1.8

PM2.5 concentration in Arlington is currently 1.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Arlington?

An open window iconOpen your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors
A man cycling iconEnjoy outdoor activities

Forecast

Arlington air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Thursday, Aug 4

Good 49 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°69.8°
Wind rotating 132 degree

6.7 mp/h

Friday, Aug 5

Good 26 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°69.8°
Wind rotating 200 degree

4.5 mp/h

Saturday, Aug 6

Good 22 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°71.6°
Wind rotating 189 degree

8.9 mp/h

Sunday, Aug 7

Good 22 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°73.4°
Wind rotating 182 degree

6.7 mp/h

Today

Good 38 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon98.6°73.4°
Wind rotating 186 degree

6.7 mp/h

Tuesday, Aug 9

Good 40 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon96.8°71.6°
Wind rotating 21 degree

6.7 mp/h

Wednesday, Aug 10

Good 44 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°69.8°
Wind rotating 331 degree

6.7 mp/h

Thursday, Aug 11

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon78.8°66.2°
Wind rotating 7 degree

8.9 mp/h

Friday, Aug 12

Good 17 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon80.6°60.8°
Wind rotating 356 degree

6.7 mp/h

Saturday, Aug 13

Good 23 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon82.4°60.8°
Wind rotating 163 degree

4.5 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Arlington

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Arlington

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Arlington

What is the current level of air pollution in Arlington?

Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia, often referred to simply as Arlington or Arlington, Virginia. It is located in the northern region of Virginia on the southwest bank of the Potomac River, directly across from the District of Colombia. According to a census conducted in 2019, the county's population was estimated at 237,000 people making Arlington the sixth-largest county in Virginia by population.

Looking back to the middle of 2021, it could be seen that the air quality was “Moderate” with a US AQI reading of 52. This United States Air Quality Index number is calculated using the levels of six of the most commonly found air pollutants, namely, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, being PM2.5 and PM10. It can be used as a standard when comparing air quality in other cities around the world. In July 2021, there were two recordings of PM2.5 and carbon monoxide which were 12.7 µg/m³ and 412.2 µg/m³, respectively. It can readily be seen that the level of PM2.5 was slightly in excess of the suggested level as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Their suggestion is 10 µg/m³ or less, even though no level is classed as being safe.

With pollution at this level, the advice would be to stay indoors and close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more dirty air. An air purifier would be beneficial if one is available. Avoid exercising outside until the quality improves but if venturing outside is unavoidable, then wearing a good quality face mask is essential. The table that is published at the top of this page should help with that decision or download the AirVisual app for constant updates as to the quality of the air.

Does the level of air pollution in Arlington stay the same throughout the year?

In 2020, there were three months of the year when the air quality was noticeably worse than the rest. These were in July (12.1 µg/m³), November and December (12.8 µg/m³ and 13.4 µg/m³, respectively) with figures such as these, the air quality would be classed as “Moderate” with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. During the months of January and February, the air quality was classified as being “Good” with figures between 10 and 12 µg/m³. For the remaining seven months, Arlington achieved the target figure as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which is that of 10 µg/m³, or less.

The first measurements pertaining to air quality were taken in 2019 when the recorded figure was 12 µg/m³, which was classified as “Good”. The following year returned a reading of 9.9 µg/m³ which was within the WHO target. This figure comes as no surprise because of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 situation. Many vehicles were temporarily unused as their drivers were furloughed with no need to commute to the office each day. This leads to much cleaner air due to the absence of their emissions. Several factories and non-essential production units were also temporarily closed to try to contain the spread of the virus.

What is the cause of the polluted air in Arlington?

More than 40 percent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air, according to a new report published by the American Lung Association. Arlington County residents are among them. Wildfires and changing weather patterns are being blamed for this change.

Particle pollution comes from many sources, including wildfires, wood-burning devices, coal plants and diesel engines. Ozone is another pollutant in Arlington it is often called smog, is unhealthy and produces an effect like sunburn on the lungs.

Currently, Virginia has some cities with the worst pollution in the US but also has some of the cleanest cities. In July of 2021, most of the polluted air came from wildfires that were raging across many states and also in Canada. The resultant smoke being blown by the wind over Virginia. Northern Virginia is currently under a code Orange alert which pushes it into the Unhealthy category. In the county of Oregon, the large fire in Klamath Falls known as the Bootleg Fire has merged with a nearby Log Fire which is currently the largest fire in the nation, burning 388,359 acres so far. It is said to be 30 percent under control.

The Clean Power Plan established a federal framework to reduce carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants that contribute to climate change enhancing conditions for ozone formation and making it harder to reduce this lethal pollutant.

Smog forms on warm, sunny days and is made worse by chemicals that exit vehicle exhausts and power plants and industrial chimneys. Warmer temperatures make ozone more likely to form. The highest levels of ozone occur at the beginning of the afternoon when the sunlight is at its strongest.

What is the trend for emissions in Arlington, Virginia?

Emissions of air pollutants play an important role in many air quality issues. In 2020, approximately 68 million tons of pollution were emitted into the atmosphere in the United States. These emissions mostly contribute to the formation of ozone and particles, the deposition of acids and visibility impairment.

Between 1980 and 2020, gross domestic product increased 173 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 85 percent, energy consumption increased 19 percent, and the U.S. population grew by 46 percent. Surprisingly, the level of pollutants dropped over the same time period by 73 percent. As a result of the permanent phase-out of leaded gasoline, controls on emissions of lead compounds through EPA’s air toxics program, airborne lead concentrations in the U.S. decreased 98 percent between 1980 and 2005. Since 2008, emissions have continued to decrease by 30 percent from 2008 to 2017. The metrics used for the in-between years were not comparable with current methods, therefore are omitted from the results.

Variations in weather conditions play an important role in determining ozone concentrations. Ozone is more readily formed on warm, sunny days when the air is still.

Can air quality in Arlington be improved?

In 2011, the City of Arlington introduced the Hike and Bike System Master Plan in order to make it easier for hiking and biking as viable transportation alternatives throughout the city and its environs. The main goal is to encourage residents to get out and enjoy the green spaces which surround the city. It is hoped that if it is supported by sufficient numbers, the air quality in the city will improve due to lower vehicle usage which leads to less ozone produced.

Arlington has more than 160 kilometers of on-street and paved off-road cycle trails. Off-road trails travel along the Potomac River or its tributaries, abandoned railway lines, or major highways, including the Four Mile Run Trail that travels the length of the county and the Custis Trail, which runs the width of the county. In autumn 2015, Arlington was awarded a Silver ranking by the League of American Bicyclists for its cycle infrastructure.

The city is also committed to reducing traffic congestion through the implementation of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Most of the busy junctions are monitored in real-time by a central control unit. If traffic is building up in certain areas, the traffic light sequence can be adjusted to allow to build-up to dissipate.

A bicycle-sharing system, began operations in September 2010 with 14 rental locations primarily around Metro stations throughout the county. In 2007, a new taxi company was licensed to operate exclusively with a hybrid-electric fleet of 50 vehicles and also issued permits for existing companies to add 35 hybrid taxis to their fleets.

What is the air pollution that is caused by vehicles in Arlington?

Cars, trucks and buses powered by fossil fuels are one of the major sources of air pollution. They emit more than half of the nitrogen oxides in our air, and are one of the largest emitters of gases associated with global warming in the United States. Scientific studies have identified that these pollutants have negative impacts on almost every organ in the body. Although air pollution brings many public health and environmental risks, clean transportation technologies are now available that can significantly reduce pollution from cars, trucks and buses, and cut oil consumption in half in the next 20 years.

Cars, trucks and buses emit air pollutants throughout their life cycle, including during vehicle operation and fuel production. There are also emissions associated with the refining and distribution of the fuels that power them. Pollution from transport vehicles is divided into primary and secondary pollution. Primary pollution is emitted directly into the atmosphere, while secondary pollution is the result of chemical reactions between pollutants, very often under the influence of strong sunlight.

High concentrations of particulate matter (PM2.5) make up the soot-laden black smoke that comes out of the exhausts of cars, especially diesel ones. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are pollutants that react with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight to form ground-level ozone, the main ingredient in smog. Nitrogen oxides are pollutants that produce ground-level ozone and particulate matter (secondary). Carbon monoxide is a dangerous colorless and odorless toxic gas that is formed from the incomplete combustion of gasoline. Power plants and cars emit sulfur dioxide when they burn fuels that contain sulfur, especially coal and diesel fuel.

Transportation vehicles emit gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and therefore contribute to global warming through their production of Greenhouse Gases, predominantly carbon dioxide. Emissions from cars, trucks and buses contribute one-fifth of all pollution associated with global warming produced by the United States.

Heavy duty vehicles play an important part in our daily lives. Trucks transport products from factory points to stores, collect our garbage and deliver our packages, while buses transport thousands of people in cities. But the emissions from these vehicles also negatively affect public health and the environment. With the advent in popularity of online shopping, this need is increasing due to all the deliveries which are now being made.

Although they only represent 5 percent of all vehicles in the United States, between them, they generate more than 25 percent of all vehicle emissions associated with global warming, and a significant amount of air pollution. As more and more cargo is transported in the US each year, the challenge of controlling emissions from this sector will also continue to grow.

What detrimental effects does air pollution have on our health?

It is thought that approximately 7 million people in the world die prematurely from environmental air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This large number of deaths are the result, above all, of respiratory and cardiovascular (heart) diseases caused by air pollution. Environmental pollution also causes many diseases, ailments and annoyances that can lead to chronic and even fatal diseases. Children, people with previous respiratory or heart diseases, pregnant women and the elderly are the most vulnerable, although the entire population can be affected when exposed to the effects of poor air quality.

Emissions of polluting gases produced by industry, transportation, forest fires, radiation and aerosols (such as those from some deodorants and sprays) are the main causes of air pollution. Suspended particles (PM2.5 and PM10) are the main source of pollution: they are a mixture of components including sulfates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, coal, mineral dust and water. These particles are divided into PM10 (particles with a diameter less than 10 microns) and PM2.5 (aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microns), which are more dangerous because they enter the body more easily. Sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) and ozone (O3) are other harmful components in the air created by humans.

The most common respiratory effects caused by air pollution range from coughing, phlegm or wheezing to more serious effects such as tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. The effects are noticeable on lung function (the airways narrow and reduce airflow), inflame the airways, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections. Because of this, diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, pneumonia and even lung cancer can develop. These ailments can become chronic, prematurely age the lungs and shorten people's lives.

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