Dubai Air Quality Monitoring Network operates continuously to measure ambient levels of criteria air pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone and particulate matter) in order to determine compliance with national standards have been set in Federal Law No. (24) of 1999 for the Protection and Development of the Environment and implemented by the Cabinet Decree No. (12) of 2006 for the Regulation Concerning Protection of Air from Pollution. At high concentration levels, these pollutants pose serious threats to human health and the environment. The growing global population and economic activities result to increased emissions making air pollution impacts a global public health concern. Increased risks of respiratory infections, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer result from both short and long-term exposure to elevated levels of pollutants in air. Children, elderlies and people with pre-existing disease conditions are the most susceptible to these health effects.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a key international tool for reporting daily air quality. It provides valuable information about how clean the local air quality is and the associated possible health effects. Determination of the AQI considers a concentration of all criteria pollutants and relates them to a single scale value. The AQI is calculated according to the US EPA AQI formula. As the AQI increases in value, the level of air pollution and the potential health impacts also increase. The AQI result is divided into six categories of health concern, with each assigned a specific colour band for easier understanding of air pollution levels. An AQI value corresponding to 0 – 50 is represented by green color which indicates good air quality and concentrations of the pollutants are within the national limits, and presents no or negligible health impacts. On the other end of the spectrum, an AQI value higher than 300 or corresponding to maroon color denotes hazardous air quality that poses serious health effects.