Air quality in Virginia Beach

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

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What is the pollen count in Virginia Beach today?

Tree pollenModerate
Grass pollenLow
Weed pollenLow
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What is the current weather in Virginia Beach?

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Wind23 mp/h
Pressure30 Hg

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What is the current air quality in Virginia Beach?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 11 US AQItrendPM2.5

PM2.5 concentration in Virginia Beach air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value

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What is the current air quality in Virginia Beach?

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Virginia Beach air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Saturday, Feb 24

Good 28 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
41° 35.6°
Wind rotating 18 degree 15.7 mp/h
Sunday, Feb 25

Good 20 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
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62.6° 37.4°
Wind rotating 203 degree 13.4 mp/h
Monday, Feb 26

Good 33 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
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62.6° 48.2°
Wind rotating 192 degree 20.1 mp/h

Good 11 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
66.2° 46.4°
Wind rotating 277 degree 24.6 mp/h
Wednesday, Feb 28

Good 17 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
44.6° 37.4°
Wind rotating 318 degree 22.4 mp/h
Thursday, Feb 29

Good 10 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
48.2° 39.2°
Wind rotating 152 degree 11.2 mp/h
Friday, Mar 1

Good 12 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
51.8° 48.2°
Wind rotating 123 degree 17.9 mp/h
Saturday, Mar 2

Good 47 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
51.8° 44.6°
Wind rotating 343 degree 8.9 mp/h
Sunday, Mar 3

Moderate 54 AQI US

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50° 48.2°
Wind rotating 98 degree 6.7 mp/h
Monday, Mar 4

Good 15 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon
55.4° 46.4°
Wind rotating 53 degree 8.9 mp/h

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Is there air pollution in Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach is a city located on the south-eastern coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. In 2019, the estimated population was 449,974 people. It is the most populous city in Virginia and is 44th throughout the entire nation.

It is situated at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.

In early 2021, Virginia Beach was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of 23. This classification follows the guidelines laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The main recorded pollutant was PM2.5 with a concentration of 5.5 µg/m³. With levels as low as these, doors and windows may be opened to allow the flow of fresh air through the building and all types of outdoor activities may be enjoyed without fear.

Does the air quality in Virginia Beach vary throughout the year?

Ozone is not emitted by vehicles themselves, or out of chimneys. It’s formed from other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons, through chemical reactions under ultraviolet light. Warmer weather thus produces more of it, and extended rainy periods can bring levels down. Due to the higher air temperatures and an increase in sunlight, the formation of ozone (O3) is at its highest between April and September.

Where does Virginia Beach rank in the air pollution stakes?

Six cities in Virginia are ranked among the cleanest cities in the US, with one city ranked among the most polluted cities. Roanoke is among the cleanest US. cities for ozone air pollution. Five other cities are the cleanest in the country for short-term particle pollution (excluding other pollutants): Charlottesville, Harrisonburg-Staunton-Waynesboro, Lynchburg, Richmond, and Virginia Beach-Norfolk.

Where does the air pollution in Virginia Beach come from?

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) monitors air pollution at many locations throughout the state and publishes its findings on public websites for all to access.

At high levels, ground-level ozone and particle pollution may raise health concerns in some people. These are the two main sources of air pollution in Virginia Beach.

Ground-level ozone is the main ingredient in smog. It is a colourless gas formed by the reaction of sunlight with vehicle emissions, gasoline fumes, solvent vapours and power plant and industrial emissions. Ozone formation is most likely in hot, dry weather when the air is fairly still. It has a tendency to peak in the early hours of the afternoon. Any exceedance of the permitted level is put out as a warning to those who are more susceptible to its effects than others. An exceedance occurs when an 8-hour average ozone concentration at a monitor is above 70 ppb.

Particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10) monitoring is available on the web for a few areas in Virginia, but more are being added as soon as is possible. Particle pollution is made up of the various particles found in soot, dust, smoke and fumes. The burning of coal, oil, diesel and other fuels produces these particles. The microscopic particles are small enough to enter deep into the lungs and cause health problems.

A large part of air pollution is due to anthropogenic sources. It is all part of the air pollution that derives from human activities:

  • productive, industries;
  • energy, with the production of electricity;
  • transport, such as road, ship and aircraft traffic;
  • domestic, with house heating;
  • intensive farming.

In addition to the human component, increasingly incisive due to the demographic increase in recent decades, technological progress that brings with it a life of ease, also brings a wave of highly impacting consequences and consumerism.

Is anything being done to improve the air quality in Virginia Beach?

The American Lung Association’s 2020 “State of the Air” report published that air quality in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA-NC metro area continued to equal or improve upon its previous year’s levels for the sixth consecutive year. Additionally, ozone/smog performance remained unchanged as no reported exceedances were noted.

For the year-round measurement of fine particle pollution (PM2.5), the metro area improved on its best performance ever for the 10th consecutive year, ranking tied for 169th worst in the country out of 204 metro areas with available data. Also for the 10th year in a row and eight of those being its best ever result, the metro area equalled or improved upon the previous year’s measure of unhealthy days on average for daily surges of fine particle pollution.

How is human health affected by the poor air quality in Virginia Beach?

Ozone and particle pollution have been linked to health concerns, particularly among children, asthmatics, people with heart or lung disease, and older adults. The effects of these pollutants can be minimised by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise when levels are high. You can use the forecast for the following day to plan your activities during the summer months.

Breathing ozone irritates the lungs which results in something similar to severe sunburn within the lungs. Ozone is linked to an increased risk of lower birth weight, with air pollution triggering asthma attacks and harming lung development in children.

Particle pollution, on the other hand, can lodge deep in the lungs and can even enter the bloodstream because it is small enough to bypass the body’s natural defence mechanism. It can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes and may cause lung cancer. Particle pollution comes from industry, coal-fired power plants, diesel emissions, wildfires and wood-burning devices.

Emissions from coal-fired power plants pose substantial risks to human health, such as illnesses, premature death, health-related costs, and so on. In the US, an estimated 20,000 heart attacks and 13,200 premature deaths annually are caused by fine particle pollution (PM2.5) from coal-fired power plants. Living downwind of a power plant or industrial plant can be the same as living with a smoker, causing asthma and other lung problems, according to a report commissioned by CBF. The annual cost of these illnesses and deaths has been estimated between $62 billion and $100 billion, with the toll falling heaviest on children and the elderly. Air pollution, primarily from power plants, is also the main source of the mercury that contaminates fish.

Virginia Beach air quality data attribution


1 Data source

Data validated and calibrated by IQAirData validated and calibrated by IQAir

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