The Bureau's Air Monitoring Department publishes the Daily Air Quality Report Monday through Friday. This report includes the air quality level, the burning status, and the pollen and mold spore counts. The Daily Air Quality Report can be accessed by calling (423) 643-5971 or by clicking here. The report is faxed daily to the media, local doctors, fire stations and government offices.
The Bureau monitors air quality levels in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter and ozone. The particulate standard requires the monitoring of PM2.5 and is set at a concentration of 12 micrograms per cubic meter (Âµg/m3), with a 24-hour standard set at 35 Âµg/m3.
The standard for ozone is based on an 8-hour standard of 0.075 parts per million based on numerous health studies showing adverse effects from chronic exposure.
The Bureau currently monitors two categories of particulate matter: PM10, which is particulate matter smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter (a micrometer is equal to 1/1,000 of a millimeter--about 1/50th the size of a human hair) and PM2.5, which is particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. The Bureau began monitoring PM2.5 in 1999 and has submitted the data to the national database.