Daily Air Quality Index

The Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) tells you about levels of air pollution and provides recommended actions and health advice. The index is numbered 1-10 and divided into four bands, low (1) to very high (10), to provide detail about air pollution levels in a simple way, similar to the sun index or pollen index.

Using the Daily Air Quality Index

You should follow the three steps below to use the DAQI:

Step 1: Determine whether you (or your children) are likely to be at-risk from air pollution.

Step 2: If you may be at-risk, and are planning strenuous activity outdoors, check the air pollution forecast.

Step 3: Use the health advice below as a guide.

Recommended actions and health advice

Low: 1, 2, or 3

  • For at-risk individuals* Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.
  • For the general public Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.

Medium: 4, 5, or 6

  • For at-risk individuals* Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, who experience symptoms, should consider reducing strenuous physical activity, particulary outdoors.
  • For the general public Enjoy your usual outdoor activities.

High: 7, 8, or 9

  • For at-risk individuals* Adults and children with lung problems, and adults with heart problems, should reduce strenuous physical exertion, particulary if they experience symptoms. People with asthma may find they need to use their reliever inhaler more often. Older people should also reduce physical exertion.
  • For the general public Anyone experiencing discomfort such as sore eyes, cough or sore throat should consider reducing activity, particulary outdoors.

Very high: 10

  • For at-risk individuals* Adults and children with lung problems, adults with heart problems, and older people should avoid strenuous physical activity. People with asthma may find that they need to use their reliever inhaler more often.
  • For the general public Reduce physical exertion, particulary outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as cough or sore throat.

* For at-risk individuals: Adults and children with heart or lung problems are at greater risk of symptoms. Follow your doctor's usual advice about exercising and managing your condition.

It is possible that very sensitive individuals may experience health effects even on low air pollution days. Anyone experiencing symptoms should use their prescribed medication and seek appropriate medical advice.