Air quality in Grand Junction

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

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Weather

What is the current weather in Grand Junction?

Weather icon
WeatherBroken clouds
Temperature78.8°C
Humidity36%
Wind11 mp/h
Pressure1016 mb

live aqi city ranking

Real-time USA city ranking

#cityUS AQI
1 Ester, Alaska

163

2 Madawaska, Maine

156

3 College, Alaska

152

4 Farmers Loop, Alaska

152

5 Fairbanks, Alaska

151

6 North Pole, Alaska

132

7 Tok, Alaska

126

8 Newman, California

103

9 Stephens City, Virginia

99

10 Ware, Massachusetts

99

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Grand Junction aqi ranking

Real-time Grand Junction air quality ranking

#stationUS AQI
1 CCA - Alpine Bank Mesa Mall

10

2 CCA - Alpine Bank

8

3 CCA 24 and J road

8

4 Grand Junction - Powell Building

8

5 North 21st Street

8

6 Bonito Avenue

6

7 Ouray Avenue

5

8 Ptarmigan Ridge Circle

5

9 CCA - Continental

4

10 Foxtail Road

4

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

4

live AQI index
Good

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Grand Junction?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 4 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
1.1µg/m³trend

PM2.5 concentration in Grand Junction air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Grand Junction?

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Forecast

Grand Junction air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Tuesday, Jun 28

Good 11 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°68°
Wind rotating 260 degree

13.4 mp/h

Wednesday, Jun 29

Good 9 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°66.2°
Wind rotating 156 degree

8.9 mp/h

Thursday, Jun 30

Good 5 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon86°62.6°
Wind rotating 174 degree

8.9 mp/h

Today

Good 4 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°62.6°
Wind rotating 241 degree

11.2 mp/h

Saturday, Jul 2

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon89.6°66.2°
Wind rotating 165 degree

15.7 mp/h

Sunday, Jul 3

Good 24 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°64.4°
Wind rotating 269 degree

11.2 mp/h

Monday, Jul 4

Good 32 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon87.8°68°
Wind rotating 282 degree

11.2 mp/h

Tuesday, Jul 5

Good 28 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon86°68°
Wind rotating 159 degree

11.2 mp/h

Wednesday, Jul 6

Good 21 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon95°66.2°
Wind rotating 152 degree

8.9 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Grand Junction

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Grand Junction

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Grand Junction

What is the current level of air pollution in Grand Junction?

The City of Grand Junction is a home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Mesa County, Colorado. The State capital of Colorado is Denver and Grand Junction is 398 kilometers west-southwest of it. A 2019 census estimated the population to be approximately 64,000 people, but with 147,000 living in the entire metro region.

During the month of August 2021, Grand Junction was going through a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 51. This United States Air Quality Index figure is calculated using the levels of six of the most prolific 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. If data is unavailable for all 6 pollutants, a figure can still be calculated by using what figures there are. For Grand Junction the only figure recorded was for PM2.5 which was 12.3 µg/m³. The World Health Organization (WHO) has a recommended level of 10 µg/m³, so with this figure, it is not at a very elevated level.

With pollution at this level, the recommendations would be to stay indoors and close all doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. An air purifier would be beneficial if one is available. Avoid exercising outside until the quality improves and 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 state of the air in real-time.

Does the level of air pollution in Grand Junction vary throughout the year?

Looking back at the figures for 2020 which were published by IQAir.com, it can be seen that the worst months for air quality were August and September when “Moderate” quality air was recorded with respective figures of 19.8 and 12.5 µg/m³. The month of January returned “Good” air quality with a reading of 10.2 µg/m³. For the remaining nine months of the year, Grand Junction attained the target figure of 10 µg/m³ or less, as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). March through June were the cleanest months when figures did not rise above 3 µg/m³. The lowest figure was recorded in May when it was 2.1 µg/m³.

Historically, records pertaining to air pollution have been kept since 2017 when the WHO target figure was attained. The actual reading was 5.5 µg/m³. In 2018 the figure was 5.9 µg/m³ and in 2019 it was 4.2 µg/m³. A slight decline was recorded in 2020 with a figure of 6.9 µg/m³. This figure is quite surprising because of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 situation. Many vehicles were temporarily unused as their drivers were not required to work from the office, instead they were furloughed and allowed to work from home. This had the effect of drastically reducing pollution within the city center, due to the reduced number of vehicles. Many small factories and non-essential production units were also closed which again lead to an improvement in air quality. Yet, for some reason, Grand Junction recorded the worst annual average figure since records began.

What are the sources of this air pollution in Grand Junction?

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment and Mesa County Public Health both issued air quality health advisories for wildfire smoke recently and they confirm that the recent deluge of air pollution is not coming from fires in Colorado but from large fires which are burning to the west. There are several fires throughout Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California that are burning more than 10,000 acres each, according to the Incident Information System. It was reported that the level of smoke had reduced visibility to less than five miles and is likely to remain at that level for the next few days.

Air pollution in the Grand Valley comes from many sources, including vehicle exhaust emissions, gas and oil development, forest fires, wood smoke, methane releases, ozone, dust from roads, agricultural and construction operations, and outdoor burning (garden waste, tree clippings, agricultural burning, etc.).

There are currently 880 active oil and gas wells in Mesa County, according to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, with many more being proposed, including 110 new wells near Whitewater on the southeast side of the Grand Mesa. Even with Colorado’s stringent rules on methane leaks, these wells will probably have an impact on the air quality, especially with dust from heavy-duty trucks on unpaved roads, along with diesel engine fuel exhausts.

At the moment, Colorado has only one ozone monitor for the entire valley but hopes to change this situation as soon as possible.

What pollution is created through oil and gas exploration around Grand Junction?

Oil pollution is produced by its accidental or deliberate release into the environment, causing adverse effects on man or the environment, directly or indirectly.

Natural gas is also produced whilst drilling for oil. The gas capture is determined by the gas/oil ratio, if this value is high, the gas is captured and if it is low, it is vented and/or burned by means of flares. Natural gas is made up of light hydrocarbons and can contain carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. If the gas produced contains these gases, it burns. If the gas produced is carbon dioxide, it is vented. Although there are regulations, the venting and burning of gases pollute large areas depending on the direction of the winds.

An oil refinery is a polluting facility that manufactures products derived from crude oil which is a fossil fuel. Gasoline, gas, diesel, asphalt, lubricating oils and other residual products are extracted from it by the simple distillation process.

The latent danger of air pollution from dangerous emissions from oil refineries is caused by two problems. The first is the technological backwardness of very old plants whose equipment and processes have not been modernized and have not been replaced by plants with cleaner technology. Also, the location of refineries close to centers of large populations exposes them to toxic air due to dangerous fumes.

The vast majority of polluted air from refineries comes from other sources of emissions: sewage, unintended and uncontrolled leaks, burning of gas in the atmosphere, etc. Oil refineries burn excess gas not used as waste, generating a serious emission of polluting toxic materials hundreds of kilometers away.

Can anything be done to improve air quality in Grand Junction?

A group of concerned citizens in Mesa County is working to protect the air from harmful pollution. They dubbed themselves “Citizens for Clean Air” (CCA) and they are already making huge impacts on the Grand Valley air quality. As a group, Citizens for Clean Air recognizes that the air problems are multi-faceted and require attention to many different pollutant sources. Vehicle emissions, agricultural burning, non-EPA-certified wood-fired stoves, and industry emissions all contribute to the “brown cloud,” as well as a host of associated health and economic troubles. Poor air quality harms both our health and our quality of life which leads to increased school absences, sick days, medication use, and visits to doctors; all of which have an economic and personal impact on the community.

Recently, the CCA became increasingly concerned about the impact that oil and gas drilling has on public health. Oil and gas operations produce many pollutants which are discharged into the air. The production, transportation, and processing life cycle of oil and gas is a major contributor to ground-level ozone. Ozone causes an array of health issues. Some of these include acute eye irritation, chest congestion, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Air pollution has a detrimental effect on crops, the livelihood of farmers, and the tourist economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that, “ground-level ozone causes more damage to plants than all other air pollutants combined.” Ozone levels are already at a level that causes some loss of crop production. Colorado farmers are already enduring a severe drought; reduced harvests due to poor air quality only worsen their diminishing bottom line.

Each macro-process directly generates negative consequences on the environment, inherent to its nature. Concern about the seriousness that these environmental problems have for society has led to the search for feasible solutions in the short, medium and long term. In this sense, most of the large oil companies have expressed the need to face these environmental impacts through the establishment of certifiable Environmental Management Systems (EMS), as part of their organizational structure. In this work, the main macro-processes of the oil industry are analyzed, the activities that take place in each of them and the environmental impacts generated are identified and recorded. These figures need to be made available for the local governing body to evaluate and approve.

What are the detrimental effects of air pollution in Grand Junction on our health?

Air pollution is the main environmental risk to public health in the Americas.

Worldwide, nearly 7 million premature deaths were attributable to ambient air pollution. About 88 percent of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause a variety of adverse health outcomes: it increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, strokes and lung cancer, which affect the vulnerable population in a greater proportion, children, older adults and women.

The main effects of air pollution on health range from alterations in lung function, heart problems and other symptoms and complaints to an increase in the number of deaths, hospital admissions and visits to the doctor, especially due to respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

In recent years there have been many important advances in the knowledge and understanding of the effects of air pollution on health provided by a large number of scientific works from around the world. These studies have highlighted the importance of air quality in the health of the population and have made it possible to identify the main mechanisms of action by which exposure to air pollution causes damage to health.

The main agencies in charge of the protection of health and the environment, such as the WHO, the European Environment Agency or the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognize that inhalation of pollutants, especially fine particles, represents an increased risk of premature death. This important change began with the analysis of the acute, or short-term, effects of increases in air pollution. Over time, and the results of subsequent studies.

Particulate Matter affects more people than any other pollutant and its main components are sulfates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, coal, mineral dust and water. Particulate Matter consists of a complex cocktail of liquid and solid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. Particles are classified according to their aerodynamic diameter into PM10 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 microns) and PM2.5 (aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microns). The latter poses a greater danger because, when inhaled, they can reach the peripheral areas of the bronchioles and enter the bloodstream via the alveoli.

The health effects of Particulate Matter occur at the levels of exposure to which the majority of the urban and rural population in developed and developing countries are currently subjected. Chronic exposure to the particles increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as lung cancer.

Ground-level ozone is one of the main components of smog. It is formed by the reaction with sunlight (photochemical) of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) from emissions from vehicles or industry and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by vehicles, solvents and industry. The highest ozone levels are recorded during periods of sunny weather, especially during the early afternoon when the sun is at its hottest. Excess ozone in the air can have serious adverse effects on human health. It can cause breathing problems, induce asthma attacks, reduce lung function and lead to lung disease.

As an atmospheric pollutant, nitrogen dioxide can be correlated with several activities. In the short-term concentrations greater than 200 mg / m3, it is a toxic gas that causes significant inflammation of the respiratory tract. The main sources of anthropogenic nitrogen dioxide emissions are combustion processes such as heating, electricity generation and vehicle and ship engines.

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