​Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index that indicates how clean or polluted the air is in areas across NSW.

The AQI is managed by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Check today’s Air Quality Index.

Activity guide

When you look at the AQI at your nearest monitoring site or in you region, you will see the display of a colour depending on the air quality measured. 

Some people may be more sensitive to air pollution. Sensitive groups include:

  • people with lung disease or heart disease
  • children
  • older adults
  • pregnant women.

What activity can I do?

Air Quality Index (AQI) Colour ​indicator What does it ​mean?


Very good

Enjoy normal activities.



Enjoy normal activities.
67-99 Fair

People unusually senstive to air pollution should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Others are are not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.


Sensitive groups should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Other adults are not likely to be affected when the AQI is in this range.

Very poor

Sensitive groups should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

Other adults should reduce or reschedule strenous outdoor activities.


Sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor activities.

Other adults should avoid strenous outdoor activities. 

Air pollution health alerts

Every day at 4pm, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) issues a forecast for the next day’s air quality index. If the predicted AQI is 100 or more (poor, very poor, or hazardous) an air pollution health alert will be issued.

Information provided in air pollution health alerts:

  • Poor AQI: targeting information to the groups known to be sensitive to that type of pollution. The alert provides advice to watch for symptoms, have reliever medicine nearby, and seek medical advice if symptoms get worse even after using reliever medication and resting. The alert also states whether remaining indoors will help to reduce exposure.
  • Very poor or hazardous AQI: targeting everyone. Advice for sensitive groups as in poor AQI, but additionally it includes advice on staying indoors and limiting exercise.

You can subscribe to air pollution health alerts.

To learn more about how to best avoid symptoms from exposure to air pollution, visit Simple steps to protect your health.​​​

Current as at: Thursday 9 January 2020
Contact page owner: Environmental Health