• wood smoke haze on a clear day

Air Quality Data for Golden

Blue Sky Day in Golden

Air quality in the Town of Golden is monitored by the BC Ministry of Environment. The monitoring station is located beside the Golden Hospital. The monitoring station is identified on the Ministry web site as  “Golden Helipad”.

The readings give us a measure of the “ambient” particulate matter. Ambient means the “surrounding area or environment” and so the measures tell us about the general air quality. The station cannot measure the worst areas of town where pollutants may accumulate at higher concentrations.

Follow the link below for real-time particulate readings over the past five days.




What do the values for PM10 and PM2.5 Represent?

Particulate matter (PM) in air quality science refers to tiny solid or liquid particles that are suspended in air. Particulate matter is produced from a wide variety of sources — natural and human-caused, large and small. It is comprised of directly emitted particles, and secondary particles formed in the atmosphere through interactions of emitted pollutants such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Wood and fossil-fuel burning are two of the primary anthropogenic or human-caused sources. Particulate matter that is 10 microns (µm) (micrometres) in diameter or less is called PM10 , or ‘coarse particulate’. Of major concern are particles that are 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter (PM2.5 or ‘fine particulate’) because they can lodge deep in the lungs, and cause respiratory and cardiac problems.


To protect the health of our communities provincial objectives have been set for maximum particulate matter in air.

For PM10 the objective is to keep it below 50 µg/m3 averaged over a 24 hour period.

For PM2.5 the objective is to keep it below 25 µg/m3 averaged over a 24 hour period.

A complete list of BC provincial air quality objectives can be found here: http://www.bcairquality.ca/reports/pdfs/aqotable.pdf


Why is there no Air Quality Health Index for Golden?

Several communities in British Columbia report an Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) to provide information on health risks associated with degraded air quality at any given time. Air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, ozone and particulates are used in combination to determine the AQHI rating. Only particulates are being measured in Golden at this time, so it is not possible to report a rating on the AQHI. However, particulates are one of the most important contributors to poor air quality. In future, it is hoped that monitoring for other air pollutants will be possible in Golden.

If you have concerns about diesel emissions in Golden, for example, please contact the Golden and District Air Quality Committee.


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