EPC operates 30 air monitors for National and State air quality standard assessments, and 12 special purpose monitors which collect specific air quality data on pollution problems unique to Hillsborough County.
These air monitors measured levels of several criteria pollutants such as:
- Carbon monoxide
- Nitrogen oxides
- Particulate matter
- Sulfur dioxide
These air pollutants are the most common and have the greatest overall health effects, especially for children, people with lung disorders, and the elderly.
Measuring the quality of the ambient air is done through a network of air sampling equipment, usually referred to as air monitors. There are three categories of air monitoring: State or Local Air Monitoring Stations (SLAMS), National Air Monitoring Stations (NAMS) and special purpose stations.
Special purpose monitors are used to measure potential problem sources in certain areas, while the NAMS and the SLAMS are part of the national set of monitoring stations. These highly technical electronic instruments are installed at specific sites as determined by the agency.
Each system is regularly checked, maintained and calibrated to ensure that all requirements are being met, and that the data collected is of the highest quality possible. From this data, decisions involving millions of dollars are made to choose various air pollution control options.
How's the Air Today?
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a number used for reporting the air quality for a given location to the public. The AQI value represents how relatively clean or polluted the air is and the potential health effects individuals may experience based on current and forecasted conditions. You can obtain the most current air quality information, based on monitoring data in Hillsborough County, by visiting the EPA AirNow website.
Additionally, you may register to join the EPC Advisory/Notification System to receive important air quality advisory alerts.
If you live in Pinellas County, the Pinellas County Air Quality Division provides air quality data on their website.
Air quality information for the Tampa Bay area may also be found in the weather sections of the Tampa Tribune, the St. Petersburg Times, and USA Today.
Both EPA and the State of Florida provide ozone maps based on monitored data. The following are the links to those sites:
Pollen Forecast Online
For information on the latest pollen counts in the Tampa area, visit the accuweather allergy forecast website.