While Bellevue's air quality is generally good, it can be affected during the summer by smoke from wildfires in eastern Washington, British Columbia and Oregon. Once in a great while, a volcano in the region erupts, spreading ash far and wide.
Several government agencies share air quality data and maps at AirNow. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency offers detailed recommendations for preparing for and responding to wildfire smoke. The amount of pollutants in Bellevue's air are measured constantly, with the measurement tracked daily in the national Air Quality Index (AQI).
The AQI presents air quality in ranges, with corresponding colors for each range -- a score of 50 or less is good (green); scores between 100 and 300 (orange, red, purple) are unhealthy. When pollution in the air is above 300 (maroon), it's an emergency.
When air quality is bad,
- People, especially children, the elderly and individuals with respiratory illnesses, should avoid physical exertion outdoors.
- Stay inside, close windows and doors
- Keep inside air as clean as possible