The air monitoring station is located at Kombu Wholefoods in Bellingen and uses the Australian Air Quality Index. It measures two sizes of air particles:
pm2.5 refers to particles that have diameter less than 2.5 micrometres (more than 100 times thinner than a human hair) and remain suspended for longer. These particles are formed as a result of burning fuel and chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere. Fine particles pose the greatest health risk. These fine particles can get deep into lungs and some may even get into the bloodstream.
pm10 particles are made up of a complex mixture of many different species including soot (carbon), sulphate particles, metals and inorganic salts such as sea salt. These particles are small enough to pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects
An AQI range of 0-33 is Very Good.
34-66 is Good.
67-99 is Moderate. Air quality is acceptable, however, there may be a health concern for very sensitive people.
100-149 is Unhealthy For Sensitive Groups. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
150-199 is Unhealthy. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid prolonged exertion; everyone else should limit prolonged exertion.
200-299 is Very Unhealthy. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should avoid any outdoor activity; everyone else should avoid prolonged exertion.
300-500 is Hazardous. Everyone should avoid any outdoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.