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Find out pollution levels with these apps
AFP
March 29, 2012
First Published: 15:49 IST(29/3/2012)
Last Updated: 17:36 IST(30/3/2012)
"Air Quality in Europe" Android App. Photo: AFP
On March 31 individuals, businesses and cities around the world will take part in the annual Earth Hour celebrations, designed to raise awareness of climate change and environmental issues.  In honor of Earth Hour, Relaxnews has compiled a list of some of the apps that measure, or provide information on, one of the most potentially harmful environmental problems on our health -- air quality.

Prolonged exposure to outdoor air pollution can have detrimental effects on personal well-being as well as the surrounding environment. However, people can reduce their level of exposure to air pollution by taking simple steps, such as walking or cycling on side roads, not main roads, and being aware of the air quality where they live. One of the easiest and quickest ways to find out about the air quality where you live is by consulting the apps shown below:

Australia
Sydney
BreatheEasy
(Weather) $0.99
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breatheeasy/id447340274?mt=8
Using data from the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage this application provides information on air quality in Sydney using a color-coded system.

Europe
Air Quality In Europe
(Health & Fitness)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/air-quality-in-europe/id481363160?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.emotiontank.citeair
Based on data taken from the EU-funded air quality monitoring group CITEAIR, this application provides hourly data on the air quality in 100 major cities across Europe. As well as current data, the application also provides air quality forecasts for the following 24 hours.

ObsAIRve (Health & Fitness)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/obsairve/id490939811?mt=8
Provided by the European Commission, this application provides both current and forecast data on air quality for the majority of major cities within Europe.

China
Beijing Air Quality
(Data from US Embassy) (Health & Fitness)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/beijing-air-quality-data-from/id457237326?mt=8
The information on air quality displayed by this application is taken from the live air quality Twitter feed of the American Embassy in Beijing. The air quality information on the app is updated hourly and shows four different measurements as well as a general average.

China Air Pollution Index (Weather)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/china-air-pollution-index/id477700080?mt=8
This application combines both the hourly air quality feed from the American Embassy in Beijing and official sources within China to provide real-time air quality information for 120 major Chinese cities.

Canada (Weather)
AQHI
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/aqhi/id426506056?mt=8
This free application provides information on air quality across all the major cities and population centers of Canada based upon data gathered from official government sources. 

International
World Air Quality
(Weather) $0.99
This application provides real time air quality data for travelers; in total the app covers 400 cities in the USA, 50 in Canada and 100 in Europe as well as Hong Kong and
Thailand.
http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/world-air-quality/id396958256?mt=8

Japan
Air Quality - Atmospheric Observation
(Weather)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/da-qi-guan-ce-air-quality/id452924008?mt=8
This app gives information, taken from official sources, on air quality levels, including suspended particulate matter, throughout Japan.

Hong Kong
Hong Kong Air Pollution
(Weather)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hong-kong-air-pollution/id504536152?mt=8
Aimed at citizens of Hong Kong this application allows users to see the current air quality in their area using a variety of different air pollution indexes from multiple monitoring stations. The results are updated hourly and shown in comparison to those in other countries.

Korea
Seoul
YellowSand
(Lifestyle)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/mo/app/yellowsand/id439585090?mt=8
This application provides real-time information on the levels of air quality in Seoul.

United States
EPA AIRNow
(Weather)
iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epa-airnow/id467653238?mt=8
Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.saic.airnow
This application from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  provides information on current levels of air quality throughout the United States as well as forecasts for the following 24 hours. The app also offers advice on the health effects of different levels of air quality and what action people should take to minimize risks.

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