Air quality: real-time status per country

Air quality KLM Health Services

If you are generally healthy and you pay a short visit (less than a couple of weeks) to an air-polluted city, the health risks are low. However, if you have sensitive airways, rely on an inhaler or suffer from respiratory problems you may get sick. Air pollution can be caused by emissions from sources such as industrial facilities and traffic, combined with weather circumstances such as dry wind or little wind. If it’s windy, desert dust or dust particles originating from forest fires can cause smog.

Current air quality

For real-time information on the air quality of your destination, please refer to the Air Quality Index (AQI) prior to departure. This website provides real-time air quality information for many places around the globe and in some cases provides short-term forecasts. The air quality can vary greatly per day. The risk assessments (unhealthy, hazardous) on this website apply to long-term stays. If you visit a place for just a couple of days or a week, the health risks are low.

Air Quality Index

How is the quality of air measured? Below you will find an overview of the values, their meaning and the precautions you can take when travelling to an air-polluted region, such as provided by the Air Quality Index.

AQIOmschrijvingBetekenis
0-50GoodNo risks. Air quality is satisfactory.
51-100ModerateAir quality is considered satisfactory for urban areas and poses no health risks.
101-150Unhealthy for sensitive peopleNo restrictions for healthy people. People with respiratory disease such as asthma should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
151-200UnhealthyHealthy people are advised to avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. People with respiratory disease are advised to consider wearing a respirator mask (P2/N95) if they go outside.
201-300Very unhealthyHealthy people are advised to stay indoors, avoid outdoor exertion and consider wearing a respirator (P2/N95) if they go outside. People with respiratory disorders are advised not to visit an area with such poor air quality.
Groter dan 300HazardousPeople with respiratory complaints are strongly advised to not visit areas with this air quality classification. Everyone else should avoid all outdoor exertion and preferably stay indoors.

Are you healthy?

If the AQI is between 100 and 300, you may experience symptoms that could be characterised as disturbing but which are not harmful and of a transient nature. Examples include itchy eyes and slight irritation of your nostrils. The advice is to avoid (prolonged) outdoor exertion and physical exercise.

Do you have physical problems?

If you have a lung condition or suffer from heart problems exposure to unhealthy air (AQI over 100) – however brief – may affect your health. If you have sensitive airways, you will need to take precautions, such as staying indoors and avoiding physical exercise. If you use medication to control your asthma, it is recommended not to travel to areas with an average AQI of 200+. The Air Quality Index specifically shows the risks of long-term, lifetime exposure to air pollution for all people. However, it is known that elderly people and children are more susceptible to poor air quality. In the long-term, exposure to poor air quality can lead to an increased chance of permanent health effects, including reduced lung function, respiratory problems and heart and lung diseases.

Protect yourself: use respirator masks

Consider wearing respirator masks when visiting areas with poor air quality. Each mask is usable for a day or two. We strongly advise to use respirators with a class P2 (Europe) or N95 (Asia, US). You can order respirator masks in our web shop.