RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Smoke, dust, and ozone are all factors that can reduce air quality and make it hard for people with asthma, COPD, and other respiratory issues to breathe.
So to help figure out if it’s safe to spend time outside, the North Carolina State Climate Office just launched an interactive website called AIR, which stands for Ambient Information Reporter.
“The tool is set up so all of that air quality is displayed in a way that should be easy to read. It’s color-coded so if values are green, you know you’re good,” explained Corey Davis from the North Carolina State Climate Office.
Davis is one of the developers of AIR. The climate office teamed up with the North Carolina Division of Air Quality to tap into their network of air quality sensors across the state so people can know what could be impacting their breathing outside.
Fortunately, central North Carolina has not had as many ozone issues due to emission regulations, but what’s happening across the country continues to have a significant impact on the Triangle region.
“As fire seasons get worse across the country that smoke can still make it into North Carolina,” Davis said. “So instead of ozone problems, we’re having more and more problems with this fine particulate matter.”
Whether it’s smoke or dust, air quality is important to our health.
“If there’s anything I think we’ve all learned over the past year, is that what’s in the air is actually really important and we really want to know what’s out there,” Davis said. “So at least in terms of the weather and air quality, I think this tool really gets it at knowing what is all around you in the air.”