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Kuwait City records ‘moderate’ air quality

KUWAIT: Kuwait City recorded an air quality score that is considered unhealthy for members of sensitive groups yesterday afternoon, according to a new monitor installed by the US Embassy in Kuwait. The US Embassy in Kuwait installed an air quality monitor (AQM) on embassy grounds in Bayan, as part of an initiative by the US Department of State and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the embassy said in a message sent to US citizens in the country yesterday.

According to the EPA AirNow website, Kuwait City recorded the highest air quality index (AOI) reading at 2:00 pm yesterday, which is 112 AQI. This reading ranks under ‘unhealthy for sensitive group’ in the level of health concern, which means ‘members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.’ Otherwise, the state’s capital recorded moderate AQI readings throughout the day, except for 1:00 pm (106) and 3:00 pm (102). The US Embassy’s air quality monitor is just one health resource for the US citizen community.

The monitor measures Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 particulates on and near the embassy compound. PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the US EPA and allows us to compare against US standard measures. Particulates less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM 2.5) are referred to as “fine” particulates and are believed to pose the largest health risks-those risks are likely to be more severe for sensitive populations, including people with heart or lung disease, children, and older adults.

The US EPA has developed a formula to convert PM 2.5 readings into an air quality index (AQI) value that can be of assistance in making health-related decisions. For example, an AQI value of 50 represents good air quality with little potential to affect public health, while an AQI value over 300 represents hazardous air quality.

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