Lawrence's Air Quality Index is 162?

The New York Times Says Canada's Wildfires are One of the Causes

This is different.

I guess it's nice that it isn't a bajillion degrees out right now. The New York Times has an article about the air quality. It also has a nice interactive map that you can peruse.

Have you ever checked the weather on your iPhone and noticed a figure pertaining to air quality? You might have seen something like 'Air Quality Index: 162' and wondered what it means. Let's start understanding this index, particularly with reference to Lawrence, Kansas.

the author of this aricle is posing for a head shot

"I will continue to blame Canada."

Bryan Reynolds

smoke forecast of canadian wild fires

What is the Air Quality Index?

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool used to communicate the quality of air on any given day. It measures the density of five pollutants: ground-level ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. The index ranges from 0 to 500, with lower values indicating cleaner air and minimal potential health risks.

162 is Unhealthy?

An AQI of 162 falls into the 'Unhealthy' category. This means that everyone, particularly those with respiratory issues or heart disease, may begin to experience health effects. Even healthy individuals might notice irritation in their respiratory system or difficulties breathing during outdoor activities.

Causes of an Unhealthy AQI

What causes the AQI to reach such levels? Various factors contribute to poor air quality, including emissions from industrial processes, vehicle exhaust, chemical reactions of sunlight with pollutants, and even natural occurrences like wildfires. In Lawrence, Kansas, the specific contributors can vary, but these common culprits are often at play.

What can we do when confronted with an unhealthy AQI? Here are a few steps to protect yourself.

How to Protect Yourself

Limit Outdoor Activities

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities, especially if you're prone to respiratory issues or have pre-existing health conditions.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids can help keep your respiratory tract moist and more capable of handling irritants.

Keep Indoor Air Clean

Keep windows and doors closed, use air purifiers, and avoid activities that can increase indoor pollution, like smoking or burning candles.

Follow Local Guidance

Stay updated with local news and guidelines for managing poor air quality days.

It was a hazy drive to school this morning.

Well, at least the Temperatures are Nice... Right? RIGHT?

While it's disheartening to see our air quality deteriorating, knowledge is power. By understanding what the AQI means and how it impacts us, we can take steps to protect our health and advocate for cleaner air in our communities.

Disclaimer - I'm not a medical doctor, scientist, or anything along those lines. I'm just reacting to what I am looking at. Do not take anything I said above as official medical advice for anything.

Have a great weekend! Go Chiefs! Go Jayhawks!


The New York Times




a family standing outside of memorial stadium in Lawrence kansas on a snow day
Bryan Reynolds


Bryan Reynolds is a proud 20+ year resident of Lawrence, Kansas and an alumnus of the University of Kansas where he earned both a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. His insightful and engaging blogs have resonated with readers far and wide, garnering more than 500,000 views to date across all his work.

Although Bryan doesn't identify as a journalist, he's an obsessive observer who loves to share his thoughts and reactions about life in Lawrence on his blog. An avid Mass. Street enjoyer, Bryan brings a local's perspective to his writing. Bryan's passion for his hometown shines through in every post, making his website a must-read for anyone interested in the pulse of Lawrence.


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