Air quality resources and personal actions to protect our air.

We all know that clean air is critical to human health and all other life on our planet.

Colorado’s front range has some of the worst air quality in the country, and poor air quality affects all of us in Boulder. Whether from ground-level ozone or wildfire smoke, it can pose serious health risks, particularly for vulnerable members of our community.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, poor air quality is responsible for a more than 100,000 premature deaths in the United States each year. Costs from air pollution-related illness are estimated at $150 billion per year.

To honor this week of awareness, we pulled together local and national resources to help you stay healthy and prepared for air quality issues outside of your home.

Get Started

Check out the city’s Air Quality webpage and the county’s air quality resources.

Both provide educational resources on a variety of air quality topics.

Blue sky with clouds

Your Daily Air Quality Check

  1. Check outdoor visibility. If visibility is over 10 miles, the air quality is good for particulates. If visibility is five to 10 miles, the air quality is acceptable. Visibility below five miles is concerning, and outdoor activity should be limited.

  2. Stay up-to-date with Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Front Range Air Quality Forecast.

  3. Sign up for air quality email notifications. These updates will allow you to make informed decisions based on air quality forecasts.

Two Main Culprits

Ground-level Ozone

Ozone, not wildfire smoke, is our region’s most critical air quality issue. Ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant formed by the combination of fossil fuel emissions and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of sunlight.

The most common sources of ground-level ozone pollution are the production of oil and gas and use of combustion engines found in many cars, lawn mowers and other landscaping equipment.

Learn more about ground-level ozone and sign up for ozone action alerts.

Wildfires and Smoke

As many of us know, smoke from wildfires leads to poor air quality. Explore Boulder County’s Wildfire Air Quality & Health webpage for more information and helpful precautions.

The Flatirons cloaked in smoke

You can help protect our air.

Check out Personal Actions to Protect Our Air for more ideas.

Air quality is our collective responsibility.

There are simple steps we can all take for better air. In doing so, we reduce the harmful effects of bad air, save lives and all breathe easier.