Air Quality Index
Air quality index is used to describe the air quality in simple terms and an easy-to-understand color scale. It is based on measured air quality data and gives an overall characterization of the actual air quality. Finnish air quality index is a hourly index which describes the air quality today, based on hourly values and updated every hour.
The index takes into account the concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO₂), nitrogen dioxide (NO₂), respirable particles (PM10), fine particles (PM₂.₅), ozone (O₃) and the total reduced sulphur compounds (TRS). The measured concentrations are compared with the current air quality guidelines.
A sub-index is assigned for each of the measured compounds and the highest sub-index determines the overall air quality index at the station. So far, black carbon (BC) is not taken into account when determining the overall index.
The air quality index in use in Finland is developed and maintained by the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY and the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL. The corresponding classification of black carbon (BC) has been developed in the EU-funded HOPE project.