This page contains a graph of Beijing air quality as measured from the US Embassy, links to useful information, and the raw US Embassy monitoring Twitter feed. The 24-hour graph is updated 15 minutes after every hour. Just refresh the page to see the updated graph.
The monitoring station at the US Embassy in Beijing measures average of “less than 2.5 micra” sized particles every hour. This component of air pollution is believed by the EPA to be some of the most damaging, as it can cross the lung barriers and enter the blood stream.
24 Hour Air Quality Index Graph – US EPA AQI Defined Ranges
The 24-hour graph above attempts to update 15 minutes after the hour. The new hourly monitoring data typically gets tweeted 10 minutes after the hour, but occasionally it is late. If the the new hourly readings are not on Twitter when the system checks at 15 past the hour, the system will check again every 15 minutes.
Data is listed from the oldest to newest hourly readings. Only the last 24 hours of readings are shown here.
This data only comes from one monitoring station. Overall Beijing city air quality cannot be derived from just one monitoring station. Only approximate air quality in the area around the US Embassy (about 8 miles northeast of the Forbidden City) should be based on this.
Interpreting the Readings (Using AQI Colors and Descriptions)
- Good – AQI of Equal to or Less than 50 ( <= 50 )
Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.
- Moderate – AQI of 51 to 100
Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups - AQI of 101 to 150
Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.
- Unhealthy – AQI of 151 to 200
Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
- Very Unhealthy – AQI of 201 to 300
Health warnings of emergency conditions. The entire population is more likely to be affected.
- Hazardous – AQI of Greater than 300 ( > 300)
Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.
*Information summarized from the US Air Quality Index Guide.
References and Additional Information
- US Embassy in China Page on Beijing Air Quality Monitor
- Twitter Feed for US Embassy Beijing Air Quality Monitor
- US EPA Information on 2.5 Micrometer Particulates
- US EPA Air Quality Index Guide
- US EPA Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution
- Comparison of Differences in US AQI and China AQI PM 2.5 Ratings Scales