The EPA’s free AIRNow app for Apple or Android phones allows users to enter a Zip Code and receive the pollutant and ozone levels for more than 400 cities across the country. You can also choose to check your current location.
The app gives levels for ozone and particle pollution such as automotive exhaust and an overall assessment of “good,” “moderate,” “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” “unhealthy,” “very unhealthy” and “hazardous.”
People with heart or lung conditions, children and older adults are most at risk when particle pollution, called PM 2.5, is elevated, according to the EPA. PM 2.5 measures the number of particles 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, about 30 times smaller in diameter than the human hair. These particles come from a wide variety of sources, including motor vehicles, wood stoves and industry.