Which groups of people are more sensitive to air pollution?

  • People with lung disease (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma, lung cancer), heart disease (such as angina, and a history of heart attacks) or diabetes are more sensitive to air pollution.
  • Seniors are at higher risk because of the weakening of the heart and lungs and an increased likelihood of health problems such as heart and lung disease.
  • Children are also more vulnerable to air pollution because they have a less-developed respiratory system. Due to their size, children inhale more air per kilogram of body weight than adults.
  • Pregnant women – exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature birth and low birthweight.

Please follow the 3 steps below to use the Air Quality Index

  • Step 1: Determine whether you (or your children) are likely to be at-risk from air pollution. For more information on people who may be affected by air pollution on a short-term basis visit niph-rks.org. Your doctor may also be able to give you advice.
  • Step 2: Check the air pollution forecast.
  • Step 3: Use the health messages below corresponding to the highest forecast level of pollution as a guide.

Health recommendations

For more information on health effects go to niph-rks.org.