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TOC > MSC data > AQHI

Data and Products of the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) observation and forecast

The Air Quality Health Index AQHI is a scale designed to help quantify the quality of the air in a certain region on a scale from 1 to 10. When the amount of air pollution is very high, the number is reported as 10+. It also includes a category that describes the health risk associated with the index reading e.g. Low, Moderate, High, or Very High Health Risk . The AQHI is calculated based on the relative risks of a combination of common air pollutants that are known to harm human health, including ground-level ozone, particulate matter, and nitrogen dioxide. The AQHI formulation captures only the short term or acute health risk exposure of hour or days at a maximum . The formulation of the AQHI may change over time to reflect new understanding associated with air pollution health effects. The AQHI is calculated from data observed in real time, without being verified quality control.


How to access the data

This data is available on the MSC GeoMet API / web services and the MSC Datamart data server:

An overview and examples to access and use the Meteorological Service of Canada's open data is available.


The end-user licence for Environment and Climate Change Canada's data servers specifies the conditions of use of this data.

MSC Open Data Service Usage Policy

The MSC Open Data Service Usage Policy determines what constitutes an acceptable use of MSC Open Data services and provides users best practices for optimal use.


The metadata of the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) observation and forecast are available on the Open Government Portal.



The national AQHI program is a joint partnership involving Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, and the following provincial/municipal/NGO agencies:

  • The Government of the Northwest Territories Departments of Environment and Natural Resources and Health and Social Services.
  • The Government of Nunavut
  • The B.C. Ministry of Environment, the B.C. Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, the B.C. Ministry of Health Services, Metro Vancouver, the B.C. Lung Association, the Fraser Valley Regional District, Interior Health Authority, Thompson Nicola Regional District, the City of Kamloops, Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the City of Vernon, the City of Kelowna, the Capital Regional District, Resort Municipality of Whistler, and the Municipality of Williams Lake.
  • Alberta Environment and Water and Alberta Health and Wellness.
  • The Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.
  • Manitoba Health, Manitoba Healthy Living, Manitoba Conservation, and The Lung Association, Manitoba.
  • The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Peel Public Health, Halton Region Health Department, Hamilton Public Health Services, York Region's Community and Health Services Department, Durham Region Health Department, Ottawa Public Health, Toronto Public Health and the Clean Air Partnership.
  • The Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec and the Direction de santé publique de la Capitale-Nationale, la Direction de la santé publique de l'Outaouais, the Direction de santé publique de l'Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal and the City of Montréal.
  • The New Brunswick Department of Health and Department of Environment in partnership with the New Brunswick Lung Association.
  • The Prince Edward Island Department of Environment, Labour and Justice, and the Prince Edward Island Department of Health and Wellness in partnership with the Prince Edward Island Lung Association.
  • Nova Scotia Environment, and The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness in partnership with the Lung Association of Nova Scotia and Clean Nova Scotia.
  • Environment and Conservation, Newfoundland and Labrador and Health and Community Services, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Technical documentation


The chronology of changes to the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) program is available here.