I’ve been consternated lately about AQI – the air quality index.

Basically, I’ve been watching the AQI for southern California on this website and I try to stay inside on days when it’s in the higher end of the “moderate” range.  Rainy days tend to be better air quality days, but we don’t have a ton of those.

While in Ontario two weeks ago, I was curious what the air quality difference between Los Angeles and Ontario is, so I looked up an Ontario AQI index.  I found that while it seems to use the same numbers, the interpretation of those numbers in Ontario is a little different.

Here’s the Southern California scale:

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 10.43.17

And here’s the Ontario AQI:

Ontario AQI

If they’re using the same International AQI scale, then something is very wrong.  Ontario says 50+ is poor.  Southern California thinks it’s moderate!

According to Health Canada, 4,200 Canadian deaths were associated with long-term exposure to poor-quality air between 1998 and 2000.  That’s too many!  More interesting tid bits about Canada’s AQI can be found here.

Does anybody know whether the USA and Canada are using the same AQI scale?


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