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Deporfment Of Environment Mo loy

2000

A Guide To Air Pollutant lndex ln Malaysia

(API)

Department of Environment
Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment
12th & 13th Floor, Wisma Sime Darby
Jalan Raja Laut

50662 KUATA TUMPUR
MATAYSIA
O3-294 7844

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Homepage: www.jas.sains.my

F irst Edition 1993
Second Edition 1996
Third Edition 1997
Fourth Edition 2ooo

ACKNO\ LEDGMENT The D€partrnent of Envircnment wishes to acknowledge the contributions by the following organisations in producing this publication: (i) Universiti Putra Malaysia (ii) Alam Sekitar Malaysia Sdn Bhd .

ASMA Sdn Bhd and all those who have contributed towards the publication of th is booklet. . the API was adopted in 1996. I would like to acknowledge with thanks the contributions by University Putra Malaysia. I hope the public will have a better understanding of the APl. API is then computed using the technique developed by US-EPA. lts predecessor was the Malaysian Air Quality lndex (MAQI) which was developed after a study done by the University Pertanian Malaysia in 1993. ozone and suspended particulate matters of less than ten microns in size are considered health related pollutants. With the publication of this information booklet. The pollutants measured which include sulphur dioxide. Last but not least.FOREWORD The Air Pollutant lndex (APl) is established to provide easily understandable information about air pollution to the public. Air pollution levels are determined using internationally recognised ambient air quality measuring techniques. WAM*:-: HAIAH ROSNANI IBARAHIM Director-Ceneral of Environment Malaysia. nitrogen dioxide. In line with the need for regional harmonisation and for easy comparison with the countries in ASEAN. carbon monoxide. The API follows closely the Pollutant Standard lndex (PSl) developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (u5-EPA).

as a means for reporting the quality of aa or level ofair pollution. known as the Malaysian Air Quality Index (MAQI) in 1993. carbon monoxide (CO). nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Application of the hdex system. dehning the concenhation limits of selected air pollutants which might adversely affect the health and welfare of the general public. unlealthy. An index system plays an important role in conveying to both decision-makers and tle general public the status of ambient air quality. Based on the RMG. the D€parhnent subsequently developed its first air quality index system. instead of using the actual concenhations of air pollutants.A GUIDE TO AIR POLLUTANT INDEX IN MALAYSIA Introduction In 1989. the Departrnent revised its index system in 1996. particularly in indusaialised countries. The air pollutants included in Malaysia's API are ozone (O3). the ranges of index values could then be categorised as follows: good. termed Recommended Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines (RMG) for air pollutants. ranging fiom good to hazardous. Generally. The API system of Malaysia closely follows the Pollurant Standard lndex (PSI) systen ofthe United States. To reflect the status ofthe air quality and its effects on human health. and the Air Pollutant Index (API) was adopted. the Departrnent of Environment (DOE) formulated a set of air quality guidelines. has demonshated its useful role in providing a sound basis for both the effective management of air quality. as well as the effective protection ofpublic health. ln line with the need for regional harmonisation and for easy comparison with countries in the region. Air Pollutant Ind€x (AlI) Recommended Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines An air pollution index system normally includes the major air pollutants which could cause poteutial harm to human health should they reach unsafe levels. sulphur dioxide (SO2) and suspended particulate matter of less than l0 microns in size (PMl0). modemte. an air pollution index system is deyeloped in easily understood ranges of values. very unhealthy and .

As such. which is based on the National Guidelines for the sp€cifrc air pollutants concemed. 400 and 500 directly mirror those of the PSI system of the United States. air quality with API values exceeding 100 are considered likely to cause health effects to the general public. which varies ftom I to 24 hours for the different air pollutants in the RMG. The coresponding API values calculated as a firnction of the air pollutant . such as air pollutant levels within stipulated standards. Breakpoints at API 200. a linear corelation is assumed from API 0 to API 100. the API system closely follows the PSI system of the United States. The relevant equations for the calculation ofAPI values for the various concenfration segmenls are also presented in Figures I to 5. A?I As mentioned earlier. emergency aad significant harm. the API breakpoints at 100 for the various air pollutants correspond to the respective RMG concenftations regarded as being "safe levels". Figures I to 5 depict tle sub-index functions of the five API pollutants involved. waming.hazardous. and basically represent "safe levels" below which no adverse health effects have been observed. Air Quality Standards or The Recommended Malaysian An Quality Guidelines (RMG) which form the basis for calculating the API are presented in Table 1. The RMG are generally comparable to the conesponditg air quatity standards recommended by the World Health Organisation and other countries. with the breakpoint at API 50 conesponding to 50% of the RMG concentration standards for the various air pollutants. In other words. The key reference point in these air pollution index systems is the index value of 100 (the "safe" limit). Further. which are used as the basis for calculating the APL The respective breakpoints and their corresponding episode category descriptors are also indicated. As such. The averaging time. the air pollution indices are normally monitored and reported for the same averaging times as those employed for the air quality standards/guidelines. 300. These guidelines have been derived from available scientific and human health data. represents the period of time over which measurements is monitored and reported for the assessment of human health impacts of specific air pollutants. The index values may also be categorised accordhg to episode or action criteria. or levels signifying conditions for alert.

the API values are reported for varying averaging tirne as follows: PMIO and SO. . CO on 8-hour running averages and O3 and NO2 on l-hour running averages. For example. the predominant air pollutant parameter was PMlo and heuce the API values reported were primarily based on the PMIO sub-index. How Is the Air Pollutant Index Calculated? To determine the API for a given tirne period. prior to the sub-index calculations. during the 1997 haze episode. The API for PM10 (based on a 24-hour period ruming average). as visibility is often determined by results of semi-quantitative observations over relatively shorter time periods. The predominant parameter contributing towards a particular A?I value is normally indicated alongside the API value.300 >300 unhealthy very unhealthy hazardous Table 4 summarises additional information on general human health effects and cautionary statements within each ofthe API categories.concentrations are listed in Table 3.100 101 . The corresponding air quality clata are subjected lo the necessary quality control processes and quality assurance procedwes. on 24-hour running averages. Further.200 201 . Followirg the requirements of the RMG from the standpoint of human health implications. The API value reported for a given time period represents the highest API value among all the sub-APIs calculated during that particular time period. reflects specifically levels of suspended particulate natter pollution and it may not be linked directly to visibility factors. air quality in terms of human health impacts and implications are categorised as follows under the API system adopted in Malaysia: API DESCRIPTOR 0-50 good modemte 51 . the sub-index values (sub-A?I) for all five air pollutants included in the API system are fust calculated using the above mentioned sub-index furctions for the air quality data collected ftom the Continuous Air Quality Monitoring Stations.

is shown in Figure 7. The shaded segments may be represented by successive colours of the specfium: "good" (blue). State the relevant health effect category Report also other sub-indices. The following is an outline of the procedures involved ia calculating the API values (process flow chart is shown in Figure 6):- (r) Collect continuous air quality data for the five air pollutants in the API system for sufficient averaging time periods. 7 . Ideally. which exceed 100 (thereby indicating violation of an RMG). (vi) An example of graphically presenting the air quality in terms ofthe API. (iu) Calculate sub-hdex value for each of the five air pollutants based on the average concentrations calculated and functions (Figures I -5): (u) with the use of the sub-index Report the API at a given time for the preceding averaging period (taking the common end point of l-hour. all sub-API yalues exceeding the API 100 threshold limit should also be reported in addition to the predominant API value per se. "hazardous" (red).This approach is also adopted by the PSI system ofthe United States. quality control and quality assruance in the process ofdata collection. This would give a subjective impression of a gradual worsening of the air pollution problem with each descriptor category. any. (ii) Conduct the necessary calibration. "unhealthy" (yellow). "moderate" (green). 8-hour or 24-hour for all hve pollutants) in temls ofthe highest sub-hdex value obtained. if for the API value as the ofthe API reported. API = Max {sub-indices of all five air pollutants} State the specific air pollutant responsible predominant pammeter along with the index. that can be used for reporting in the TV media. "very unhealthy" (orange).e. i. (iii) Calculate average concentration of the specific air pollutants for the specified averaghg time periods. and is also commonly followed by other countries in an effort to promote a uniform and comparable API system. validation.

04 500 350 DIOXIDE AS 2523 HOUR 24 HOUR PMl 24 HOUR 150 1 YEAR 50 O AS 2724.750 2.6 Particulate Matter (PMl 0) 24 ht Sulfer Dioxide (SO) 24 hr 600 2.10 0.04 AS 2695 SUTFER HOUR (pp'n) B HOUR MONOXIDE NITROCEN DIOXIDE AS 2447 HOUR MALAYSIA CUIDETI NES 1O MINUTE l 0.13 0.500 50 3.200 0.O Carbon Monoxide (CO) thr Nitrogen Dioxide (NO') thr Ozone t hr (Ot 1.620 1.'17 320 0.06 200 30 120 9 35 10 l HOUR 24 HOUR o.Table 1 : Recommended Malaysia Air euality Cuidelines (at 25" Celsius and 101 .6 105 #mg/m3 Table 2: Significant Harm Level to Apl value of 5o0 Pollutant and Averaging Time Concentration (!rglm') (ppml 57.19 0.1 3 kPa) adopted in Air Pollutant lndex calculation POTTUTANT AND MTTHOD AVERACINC TIME OZONE l AS 2524 8 HOUR CARBON # l (u/m') 0.0 .

.8cs.65 76525 1069 50 26 400 o0 1130 @ CO is h.Table 3: API vaLues.d NO2 ft I 145 r.4m -1000 20 00 23O 00 240 00 250 00 12 2@ @ 12 30 0 155 270 @ 2& m 60 12 90 0 165 29 @ 3@ @ 1320 3r0 @ 13 80 320 330 0l 0 213 0 3?1 0 145 00 12 13 1.vcr.0 00 'd-a aor 00 968 00 75 1006 50 730.sur.50 1019@ 195 16.s 0 471 0 493 514 536 557 579 ..vc. SO2 r.d rs d I br.1 6 3.a-l- 0015 -o0006 00m 0oo8 0025 0010 o 055 0026 003.d pNllo arc 24 br.t6 50 50 8a7 00 25 527 aA 522 556 591 626 661 695 30 00 35 00 ./mj 10 00 4€ 500 .15 !0 135 ra0 225 o o1o ?70 315 360 405 so 00 60 00 TAAA 30 00 90 00 100 0n 495 120 00 iro 00 765 r40 0! r50 J0 oTt .rO.s.O) 50 10 0 175 o 185 0 191 0 196 0 0 0 0 350 m br evd.1 C043 0 012 0 051 0 016 0 068 0 020 0@5 oo22 o 024 0 094 0 102 0 0f2 o 136 0 0 036 03a ! 585 a l0 r53 a 162 3tio 1Al 00 0 0l 0 053 066 0 r92 J70 130m 1ql 0l 0 092 0 255 01ta 0 13J 0299 1a3 r95 0 209 a 222 0 235 a {al 0 42e 0 450 ?4a 251 0271 0 2at 0 0 0 0 563 603 54tl @4 725 00 50 00 50 00 447. Ol a. llt st€ps of 5.ag. fron 5 to Fglml 15 20 150 200 29 30 35 30 50 al 350 8o 45 50 r00 55 550 60 65 650 124 70 75 130 150 80 a5 avJ 9m 95 140 954 200 r015 2r0 1r5 1m r25 rr05 224 230 130 l2 10 260 135 12 45 2lo r2 80 2AO 145 150 13 15 t350 290 3L0 155 160 13 85 20 14 55 310 32A 330 105 165 250 14 175 1525 1& t5 60 350 !g/ml 15 21 26 75 00 25 f9ln3 OO 15 00 64 00 20 00 25 00 aO O0 3l 75 42 0o 47 25 52 50 96 00 11244 128 00 144 00 160 00 57 15 63 m 6a 25 73 50 78 75 00 00 00 22100 240 00 31 16 a4 3B 94 99 105 m 25 50 75 00 /5 50 24925 244 00 27475 139 174 50 25 00 41175 452 50 313 348 343 1/6 192 206 256 00 272 23a 304 320 0A 00 00 00 50 00 AAl5A {42 00 52250 r9 15 95 16 30 360 370 360 390 400 .25 765 50 AA &6 00 7s 8.

005 l080 1469 372.90 29.05 6S 6ao 700 1320 1360 1865 24.465 0.960 0 990 1.65 25.360 1 360 1.75 20 25 21.60 9€O 20oo 4.40 37.45 32.495 SO2 ard PM l0 0.700 0.600 0.25 26 25 23 a0 24.050 1.690 0.560 0 750 575 0.375 0.75 0.50 39.5 1526 1542 374.75 24.50 0405 38A.50 34.140 1 174 1.00 440 00 37.410 0415 0.50 385.( mg/m3 [9/n] 210 215 220 225 230 235 240 245 2g 2@ 265 270 275 240 2q 295 300 cont.{0 L460 1.00 a92.430 444.6€0 0.00 39.00 0 370 0.40 690 350 .770 1.500 1.s 2404 2445 rvaag.00 409.4O 320 1725 355 40.300 t.640 0. z+ht lvcntcs 600 .75 25.00 0435 464.4.200 1220 1.20 m25 11_@ 970 9@ 45.450 0.gJ 27.() 99 ll I 2556 2593 2630 266f 1925 195.620 0.470 o.15 34.424 1.24o 0.00 33.00 436.75 30.540 1.760 0.50 399.750 0.0 2625 0.20 620 1240 640 1240 1808 2A.440 0.50 '1120 1160 1200 1400 1639 1695 0.7E0 o 790 1.585 0.10.30 33. 03 nd 2a52 28a9 ?326 2963 30m 0 330 0 360 0.50 0.60 840 345 39.710 0.40 21.00 460.240 1260 1.00 o 274 26.25 18.@ 31.240 500 1000 1413 Q57.00 920 930 940 950 1075 1900 360 3a5 390 395 .4E0 0.720 0 730 0 740 0.080 1110 1.lurcd .00 360.50 31.400 1.50 1921 1978 2031 1480 1520 2091 2147 800 1560 1600 2204 2260 780 2175 22.t3.380 0 390 0.4.00 330 37.930 0.480 1.00 0.020 1.50 18.00 23.0O :16.AO 0.00 456.00 395.00 34.50 36.00 34.& 810 1625 2297 424. inued Fgln3 pslnl ) gglml 1243 0.375 5.425 3.555 0 570 0.00 4!6.724 0.00 32.670 0.50 354.00 31.420 0.525 0.00 724 744 Td) 18.60 860 '17fi 335 34.& 0.E0 370 4210 375 a3.220 1300 1356 357.360 0.520 0.870 0.20 315 35.10 1.50 420.O0 820 1650 2334 42800 1675 1700 2371 36.0 2T7A 1975 2E15 2050 2075 hr 2442 2519 270d 2741 46@ CO is mc.00 464.400 30.50 378 00 381.50 29.00 36.4.50 32.290 0.20 E70 'tT75 340 3E.00 900 r800 1425 r850 305 310 34.250 505 540 560 sao 600 .a90 0.00 27.435 0.20 365 41.00 16 50 480 840 920 960 17.00 630 840 850 432.405 0.00 35.630 0.25 30.00 440.650 0 660 0.3.340 4O2.60 910 360 41.00 496.00 24.00 500 00 NO2 ar! I -hr l0 tvcntcsi 37.50 40.280 1.465 0 4a0 0 495 0 510 0.50 35.540 0.50 413 o0 416.580 1 rr..330 0.840 0.810 0.320 1.350 406.4a5 0.300 392.00 452.35 27.175 472_OO 476.00 0.310 0 320 24.50 0.900 0.445 0.610 0.00 34.70 1955 460 20.450 0.230 0.420 0..345 0.60 35.660 0.455 0:160 0.690 0.

575 0.] asd NO2 ar.50 055 Q25 59.590 0.90 53.48 1120 2412 2434 5:1.920 0.50 5@.900 0.950 5&.O aI.870 0.720 1.650 1.$0 2.00 . 2360 430 :135 455 460 465 170 175 4& a6 a9 495 5m 1070 160 continued) 2256 2242 !g/m3 3113 3150 31a8 515..7a 56.545 0.00 0_5$ 3253 3300 3334 535.560 0 565 0.920 1.880 1.t9.700 1.940 0.45 50.850 0.93 s7 50 1160 1170 1180 1190 lUtO 25t6 2512 2566 2594 2620 $00 638 $75 3713 3750 I h rvcng.640 1.5ro 44-50 .570 0.990 1.550 555.@ €.840 0.00 46.545 0.15 5i-18 1090 4aa 5r.50 47.$0 1.m 595.50 0_535 :!1.88 1050 1G0 t0/t0 F9ln3 !g/m3 2152 2174 2201 160 1Q 49.@ 6d).930 0. O.@ 44.73 4E.@ 525.860 0.910 0.00 550.20 55.s 1.15 47.596 0_6@ 0.50 $.asurd ar 1130 d 565.{ mdm3 yg/rt 410 a15 1m 47.03 50.@ :15.t5.60 4.5& 0.00 17 _50 0.@ ll 5E5.0O 0.440 0.53 11:t0 1150 2161 2490 3413 3450 3488 3525 3563 55.@ 570.890 0.*1.00 5$.@0 .o0 1.10 I 60 r.@ .00 0.30 '1@O t8.00 .@ 575.000 1110 2386 52.00 0.@ 545. 2+hr avcns.q) 41.760 r.960 0.820 1.00 0.555 0.520 42.50 520.910 1..35 56. I -lu !vcra86: SO: ard PM l0 CO rs nl.780 1.00 12.ts_50 49.830 0.740 1.05 5:1.970 0.@ 5:lO.75 1100 2308 233.515 0.@ 16.6.960 1.940 0.

4r No rostriction of activities for all groups + rt + of P€ople' To Practice healthy lifeslyle e-g.g. Health l\. To practice h€althy lifestylo e. . Restriclion ofoutdoor activitiss for high risk persons G6neral population should reducs vigorous outdoor activily. exercise regularly and to obssN€ prop€r nulrition.leasures + 0-50 5.Table 4i Comparison ofAPlval!6s with levalof pollution and haalth measur€s' Status Level of Pollution Good Pollution low and has no ill oflscts on health. not to smoke. exercis€ regularly and to obs6rvo prop€r nutrition. i thos€ with heart or lung No r€slriction of aclivilios for all groups of people.1 - 1oo 101-2OO Moderate Unhealthy Moderate poltution and has no eff€cts on health r' ill symptoms e disease Mild aggravation of among high risk persons. nol to smok€.

Gene€l populaiion should avoid vigorous outdoor aclivity Those with any health problems to consult doclor Elderiy end psrsons with exislin€ h€art or lung disoase should stay indoors and reduce physical activity. . Severe agglavation of anc. exerciso heart s 4 4 301 - 500 Hazardous symptoms health.Table 4: continued Status 201 - 300 Vgry Unhoallhy Level oI Pollution Heallh M€ast/res of Significant aggravation symptoms and d€croased toleranco in person vvith or lung dis€ase. endang€rs Sourco: Minislry ot He3lth. a Elderly and persons with known heart or lung disease should stay indoors and r€duc€ physical activity. Malaysia. General population should avoid vigorous outdoor activily c€neral population advis€d to follow th6 orders ot tho National Securi9 Council and always to follow the announcaments through the mass rnedia. S€vere aggravation of and endang€rs + a Abovs 5O0 Emerygncy symploms health.

0(8-hOUT RUNNING AVERAGE ) CARBON MONOXIDE . - 15] x 6. 50.x ll.66667\ A?I = 200 + {[conc. 40 0 45 0 PPM Equation for the calculation ofAPI based on 8.0 30. .Figure 1 : API subindex function for carbon monoxide SIGMFICANT HARM I-EVFJ- 500 450 400 400 EMERGENCY 350 x 300 WARNING LEVEL Lt.0 0. - 9] x 16.66667] - 30] x 10] API : t4 300 + {[conc. < 15 15 < conc.0 15. > 30 30 ppm API=conc. < conc.l1lll API = 100 + {[conc.0 35.l o a l 250 d 200 I50 ALERT LEIEL 150 100 50 MAQG 50 % MAQG 20.hour average concentation: conc<9ppm 9 < conc.00 5.0 10.0 25.

4] x 1000] 0.10 0.4 conc. > 0.30 0.4 ppm 0.Figure 2 : API subindex function for ozone SENIFTCaNT 500 tI{ Mr5tsL 450 400 350 Iz 300 o 250 I zoo D 150 100 50 0 0.00 0.2 < conc. _ 0.20 0.40 0.60 . x 1000 ApI = 200 + {[conc. ppm Equation for the calculation ofAPI based on *conc < 0.2] x 500] API :300 + {[conc.2 ppm 0.50 OZONE (1 -hour AVERAGE). 15 - 0. < l- hour average concentsation: A?I = conc.

Figure 3 : API subindex function for nihogen dioxide 500 450 400 350 x 300 6 Azso 5 d 200 150 100 50 0 NITROGEN DIOXDE (l nour A\/ERAGE).x588.17] x 232. ppm Equation for the calculation ofAPI based on l- hour average concentration: iconc < 0.6] x 166.6<conc.667] conc. > 1.56] 0.2 ppm API=300+ {[conc. - 0. - 1. - 0.17 ppm API=conc.2] 16 x250] .23529 *0.17<conc.<0.<1.2 API = 200 + {[conc.6 API = 100 + {[conc.

333] conc.3 API = 100 + {[conc.10 0.0.<0.0.90 SULFUR DIOXIDE (24 .04] x 384. .6 API=200+ {[conc.3] x333.04<conc.3<conc.conc < 0.6 ppm API=300+ {[conc. .04 ppm API=conc.70 0. 0.<0.00 0.00 .50 0.60 0.x2500 *0.6] x 500] l7 - 0.80 0.30 0.40 0.hollls RUNNIIIG AVERAGE)pFtr Equation for the calculation ofAPI based on 24 - hour average concentration: . > 0.20 0.61] 1.Figure 4 : API subindex fimction for sulfur dioxide 5@ 450 4m 350 x 300 a 82fi t26 't 50 1m 50 0 0.

hour average concentration: 100 50pg/m3 50 < conc. < 500 conc. !9ml calculation ofAPI bascd on 24 .5] - 150] x 0. - APt = 100 + {[conc. 18 - - 420] x 1.Figure 5 : API subindex function for PMl0 SI@{IFCANT N RM LEIEI 500 450 4@ 350 X 300 B z E 250 a tr 200 '150 100 50 o.5] API =200+ {[conc -350] x 14286] API = 300 + {[conc. 50] x 0. < 150 150 < conc.25] 500] 600 . :50 + {[conc.<420 420 < conc. API = 400 + [conc. < 350 350<conc.o0 Equation for the l(x) 400 200 500 PM lo (2lldr RI-NNING AvERACE). > 500pg/m3 conc < API: API conc.

Figure 6: Air Pollutant Index Process Flowchart I Indivi{nal Pollutants t Individiual Indei _! A Select l\.[ax. Indei _t i Air Pollutant Indei V t .

I]NHEALTHY %*** 200 o 7- '4 o. i. those with heart or lung disease. .e. O/ tr 7^ luz API = 150 POLLUTANT: Ozone TODAY'S HEALTH IMPLICATION: Mild aggravation of symptoms among high risk persons.Figure 7: Examplc of possible API report fi)r {clevision.