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Comparison of the Revised Air Quality Index with the PSI and AQI indices

Cheng, W-L, Chen, Y-S, Zhang, J., Lyons, T.J., Pai, J-L and Chang, S-H (2007) Comparison of the Revised Air Quality Index with the PSI and AQI indices. Science of The Total Environment, 382 (2-3). p. 191.

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Air pollution indices are commonly used to indicate the level of severity of air pollution to the public. The Pollution Standards Index (PSI) was initially established in response to a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering respiratory irritation due to the deteriorating air quality. The PSI was subsequently revised and implemented by the USEPA in 1999, and became known as the Air Quality Index (AQI) that includes data relating to particle suspension, PM2.5, and a selective options of either 8-hour or 1-hour ozone concentration during increased O3 periods. Yet, the costs of launching a network of PM2.5 monitoring stations are prohibitively high for many countries to implement the AQI from the PSI system in the foreseeable future. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to discuss the optimal method of assessing air quality using the latest developed Revised AQI (RAQI), a system that serves as an alternative to the PSI and AQI systems. The feasibility, effectiveness, and the differences between RAQI, AQI, and PSI in their applications to several air pollution conditions are also studied in this research. The results show that southern Taiwan's suspended particulates have significantly greater impact on PM2.5/PM10 ratios than in central and northern metropolitan areas, and that the ratios are higher in Taiwan as a whole compared to many other countries. We also found that the RAQI shows more significant results compared to the PSI and AQI as it has a wider coverage of the range of pollutant concentration levels.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2007 Elsevier B.V.
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