We created the Washington Air Quality Advisory (WAQA) information tool to advise you about air quality levels. When there is too much fine particle pollution in the air, your health could be at risk. WAQA bases its advice on lower levels of fine particles than EPA's national information tool, the Air Quality Index (AQI). This allows us to alert you earlier about air pollution levels.
What WAQA is used for
WAQA advises you according to measurements of:
WAQA vs. AQI
EPA uses its own air quality reporting system called the Air Quality Index (AQI). Both use color-coded categories to show when air quality is good, moderate, or unhealthy. The difference is that the state's WAQA is based on lower levels of fine particle pollution than the federal AQI. This allows us to alert you earlier to protect your health.
Studies show that levels of particles in the air that we previously thought were safe can cause illness and death. Some examples of fine particles are smoke and dust.