Air quality in Cleveland

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

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What is the current weather in Cleveland?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Wind6.9 mp/h
Pressure1019 mb

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#cityUS AQI
1 Avenal, California


2 Peaceful Valley, Washington


3 Ponca City, Oklahoma


4 Oasis, California


5 Thermal, California


6 Sylvan Springs, Alabama


7 Chatsworth, Georgia


8 Union Springs, Alabama


9 Powder Springs, Georgia


10 North Edwards, California


(local time)


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Real-time Cleveland air quality ranking

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#stationUS AQI
1 G.T.Craig


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What is the current air quality in Cleveland?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Good 21 US AQItrendPM2.5
5.2 µg/m³trend
3.8 µg/m³
2.6 µg/m³

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How to protect from air pollution in Cleveland?

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Cleveland air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Saturday, Apr 10

Good 40 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Sunday, Apr 11

Good 30 US AQI

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Monday, Apr 12

Good 29 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Tuesday, Apr 13

Good 40 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon51.8°44.6°
Wind rotating 305 degree

4.5 mp/h


Good 31 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon44.6°39.2°
Wind rotating 280 degree

13.4 mp/h

Thursday, Apr 15

Good 21 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon44.6°37.4°
Wind rotating 297 degree

11.2 mp/h

Friday, Apr 16

Moderate 54 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon44.6°41°
Wind rotating 357 degree

6.7 mp/h

Saturday, Apr 17

Moderate 57 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon48.2°42.8°
Wind rotating 318 degree

4.5 mp/h

Sunday, Apr 18

Good 25 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon50°42.8°
Wind rotating 309 degree

4.5 mp/h

Monday, Apr 19

Good 39 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon53.6°35.6°
Wind rotating 259 degree

6.7 mp/h

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Historic air quality graph for Cleveland

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Cleveland


Is Cleveland a city with polluted air?

Cleveland is a city located in the state of Ohio, counted as one of its major cities, as well as being home to over 396 thousand inhabitants (from a census taken in 2010 and hence will have seen some significant change since then). It is situated on the southern side of Lake Erie, one of the five great lakes in North America. With a history of being a prominent manufacturing hub for the region, this industry still continues on until today, with products such as steel and other metals being produced, as well as the city diversifying its industries towards other areas such as biotechnology, fuel cell research and other tech related fields.

Whilst these industries have helped propel Cleveland to the status of being a major city in the region, as well as an economic powerhouse, they also have the negative side effect of creating diminished air quality, with increases in the population, vehicle ownership and other infrastructure related changes all leading to higher levels of pollution.

In 2020, Cleveland came in with a PM2.5 reading of 12.4 μg/m³ as its yearly average. This placed it into the ‘moderate’ pollution bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. As the name suggests, whilst this level of air pollution is not catastrophic, it could still do much to improve, and may present some health issues for many of its citizens who are subject to overexposure. This reading of 12.4 μg/m³ placed Cleveland in 1773rd place out of all cities ranked worldwide, as well as 286th place out of all cities ranked in the United States, showing that the city is subject to some less than perfect levels of air quality.

Why is Cleveland’s air polluted?

Cleveland would have many different sources of pollution, many of which would come together to create the compounded numbers of PM2.5 that are on record. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, and due to this immensely small size (going down to sizes as small as 0.001 microns or beyond in some instances), present a significant danger to human health. For this reason, it is used as a major component in the calculation of the overall level of air quality.

In regards to the main causes of air pollution, the main offending sources would be ones such as vehicular emissions, with countless numbers of cars and motorbikes inhabiting the road at any given time, both of which give out large quantities of noxious chemical pollutants and hazardous particulate matter.

Larger vehicles such as trucks and lorries also inhabit the roads, often using diesel as their main fuel source, with the great size and weight of these vehicles coupled with their fuel source adding to the heightened air pollution readings. Other prominent sources would be emissions from factories and power plants (which also utilize fossil fuels such as coal for their energy), as well as construction sites and road repairs, both of which can leak large amounts of finely ground dust and particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) into the air.

When is air pollution at its worst in Cleveland?

Observing the air pollution data taken over the course of 2020, Cleveland showed a period of time in which the PM2.5 count was noticeably higher, with these elevations correlating with the changes in temperature. Although there were some higher readings in the middle of the year, the most noticeable and clear cut period of time in which the air pollution was at its highest first made its appearance at the year's end.

It was around the month of November that a visible change in the pollution levels started to take place, with the prior month of October showing a PM2.5 reading of 8.5 μg/m³, which then rapidly spiked up to 15 μg/m³ in November, and then a further jump to 18.1 μg/m³ in December. This represents a move up from the WHO's air quality target bracket shown in october, up to the ‘moderate’ air pollution bracket of the two following months.

Observing the data taken at the beginning of the year, it is also apparent that the end of year pollution elevations would also carry on into the early months of the following year. January through to february came in with higher numbers, with PM2.5 readings of 11.8 μg/m³ and 13.2 μg/m³ respectively, before dropping down in the following months. This is indicative that the months of November through to February of the following year is when the air is at its most polluted in Cleveland (along with June and July also showing elevated readings).

What are the main pollutants in the air in Cleveland?

With a majority of its pollution arising from combustion sources, as well as certain areas such as construction sites, road repairs or even poorly paved roads, Cleveland would subsequently have a large amount of related pollutants in the air. Vehicles would release large amounts of chemical compounds into the air such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), both of which can contribute to instances of acid rain, as well as being major irritants to the respiratory tract.

Other pollutants that are typically formed in high quantities are ones such as ozone (O3), or smog as it is better known when it accumulates in large amounts. This is formed from the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOC's) being subject to solar radiation, which converts these chemicals into ozone.

Whilst this is a vital component in the upper atmosphere, when at ground level it can be an extremely harmful pollutant. Other pollutants would include silica dust and black carbon (a major component of soot), as well as some of the aforementioned VOC's such as benzene, toluene, xylene and methylene chloride.

Who is most vulnerable to air pollution in Cleveland?

Whilst there are no members of the population that are immune to the damaging effects of pollution exposure, there are certain groups that are more at risk. These include demographics such as young children, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems or preexisting health conditions, as well as pregnant mothers.

These groups should take particular care to reduce their amount of pollution exposure, and take all necessary preventative measures when possible, one of which would be staying up to date on the air pollution levels via air quality maps, as available on the IQAir website or AirVisual app, as well as other methods such as the wearing of fine particle filtering masks and avoiding outdoor activities during pollution spikes.

Cleveland air quality data sources

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