Air Quality Monitor and StateAir

The U.S. Consulate has an air quality monitor to measure PM 2.5 particulates as an indication of the air quality on the Consulate Guangzhou compound located in Zhujiang New Town. Pollutants such as particle pollution are linked to a number of significant health effects — and those effects are likely to be more severe for sensitive populations, including people with heart or lung disease, children, and older adults. This monitor is a resource for the health of the American community. Citywide analysis cannot be done, however, on data from a single machine.

Particulates less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5) are referred to as “fine” particulates and are believed to pose the largest health risks. PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and allows us to compare against U.S. standard measures. PM 2.5 particulates are of concern since they are small enough to directly enter the lungs and even the blood stream. For more information, please visit the EPA site.

The U.S. EPA has developed a formula to convert PM 2.5 readings into an air quality index (AQI) value than can help inform health-related decisions. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality. Please note that AQI is different from the Air Pollution Index (API) used in China. See more information on AQI and how it is calculated.

The monitor’s measurements, expressed in the form of PM 2.5 concentration (micrograms per cubic meter, µg/m3) and corresponding AQI, are available at http://www.stateair.net/ and on Twitter.

Extremely High Levels of PM2.5: Steps to Reduce Your Exposure (Embassy Beijing)

Air Quality Index Levels of Health Concern Numerical Value Meaning
Good 0 to 50 Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk
Moderate 51 to 100 Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101 to 150 Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.
Unhealthy 151 to 200 Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
Very Unhealthy 201 to 300 Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
Hazardous 301 to 500 Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.

The Guangzhou Air Quality and Consular Information App is designed to assist and inform American citizens living in or visiting south China. The app conveniently brings same day air quality PM 2.5 readings from the U.S. Consulate’s air monitor on Shamian island in Guangzhou, China. The app also provides contact information, office hours, and other details for people who need to report a missing passport or apply for a new passport. Information on visa procedures, notarial services, reports of birth abroad is also provided.The app also provides environmental protection themed content – local blogs, a “this week in environmental history” section and classic public service announcements from the 1970s.
The Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection provides its own air quality data for cities throughout China. The Guangdong Environmental Protection Department and the Guangzhou Environmental Protection Bureau also provide air quality data.

The Guangzhou Air Quality and Consular Information App is designed to assist and inform American citizens living in or visiting south China. The app conveniently brings same day air quality PM 2.5 readings from the U.S. Consulate’s air monitor on Shamian island in Guangzhou, China. The app also provides contact information, office hours, and other details for people who need to report a missing passport or apply for a new passport. Information on visa procedures, notarial services, reports of birth abroad is also provided.

The app also provides environmental protection themed content – local blogs, a “this week in environmental history” section and classic public service announcements from the 1970s.

Apple iTunes version is available at China iTunes and US store.

Android version, and (for those with VPN).