Air quality

Air quality is crucial to the well-being of a region’s residents. It is a particularly important health concern to those who have sensitivity to air pollution due to respiratory or other chronic lung conditions.

Air pollution challenges stemming from motor vehicles, construction dust and debris, and commercial and industrial enterprises, have grown in proportion to the population and economic growth in the valley. The region’s geography presents a unique problem in terms of maintaining high air quality: Surrounding mountains trap pollutants like ozone and particulate matter.

Region's air quality remains consistent

Southern Nevada's air quality was rated "good" 39 percent of the time in 2017, putting it on par with Tuscon, Ariz. (40 percent) and Salt Lake City (45 percent).

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), during days that air quality conditions are rated as "good," levels of air pollutants pose little to no risk to health.

Overall, 93 percent of days in 2017 were either rated as "good" or "moderate," which are deemed as satisfactory by the EPA (see chart at right).

Over the past five years (2013 - 2017), the Southern Nevada's air quality has remained relatively consistent, with roughly 40 percent of days each year rated as "good" and 95 percent categorized as "good" or "moderate."

About the data

​The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. The AQI focuses on health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: Ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, the EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health. Each day, monitors record concentrations of the major pollutants at more than a thousand locations across the country. More information on the AQI can be found in the EPA's Guide to Air Quality and Your Health.

The Clark County Department of Air Quality (DAQ) is the air pollution control agency for all of Clark County. DAQ administers a variety of programs to improve the health and welfare of our citizens by ensuring that the quality of the air in Clark County meets healthful, regulatory standards. Click here for more information on how DAQ monitors air quality in Southern Nevada.

To learn more about air quality in Southern Nevada or for additional information on the data presented above, contact Southern Nevada Strong.

Last updated: December 2018