There are many adverse health effects from elevated air pollutant levels, and both the symptoms and the severity of the effect can vary greatly from person to person. Some health effects of elevated air pollutant levels include difficulty breathing, chest pains, coughing, and headaches. People with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other upper respiratory illness are often more susceptible to adverse health effects caused by elevated air pollutant levels.
Determining the quality of the air on a daily basis is difficult for the average person. To help the public understand the quality of the air the Environmental Protection Agency created the Air Quality Index (AQI).