Unhealthy Air Quality in POS, Toco

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By Prior Beharry

THE Environmental Management Authority (EMA) notes that the “Air Quality” level at its monitoring stations in Port of Spain and Toco has registered as unhealthy at 11 am on Monday.

A release from the EMA on Monday stated that the increase in Particulate Matter (PM) is attributed to Saharan dust and the levels range between 151-153.


The Air Quality Index (AQI) at monitoring stations at Scarborough, Pt Lisas, Mayaro, San Fernando and Arima range between 117 to 143, representing air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The EMA stated, “Everyone, in particular, sensitive groups including older adults, children and individuals with heart or lung disease, respiratory ailments and allergies are strongly advised to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.”


Real-time updates on air quality can also be accessed via this link: https://ei.weblakes.com/RTTPublic/DshBrdAQI.

At 1pm on Monday, the AQI at the five monitoring stations were:

  • Scarborough – 142 (sensitive groups);
  • Point Lisis – 130 (sensitive groups);
  • Mayaro – 143 (sensitive groups);
  • Toco – 151 (unhealthy); 
  • San Fernando – 135 -(sensitive groups);
  • Arima – 117 (sensitive groups); and
  • Port of Spain – 153 (unhealthy)

Air Quality Index (AQI)

The air quality index is a number used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects.

  • Good: 0-50
  • Moderate: 51-100
  • Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: 101-150
  • Unhealthy: 151-200
  • Very Unhealthy: 201-300
  • Hazardous: 301-500

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