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Monitoring Total Particulate Matter

We measure the total particulate mass concentration in the air on a routine basis as well as during incidents that may affect ambient air.

Air Quality Index - AQI

Employee Smoke Alert Los Alamos PM 2.5
24-hour Rolling Average
White Rock PM 2.5
24-hour Rolling Average
The current condition is: Good 2.638125 µg/m3 3.4 µg/m3
Weather Forecast View Los Alamos data View White Rock data

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. EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.

Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.638125 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 6:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.70895833333333 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 5:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.73375 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 5:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.81479166666667 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 4:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.8625 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 4:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.8625 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 3:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.89770833333333 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 3:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.89145833333333 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.883125 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.870625 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.864375 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.84791666666667 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.86666666666667 µg/m3 on Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 2.91645833333333 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.064375 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.05 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.21666666666667 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.48333333333333 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.78541666666666 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.99166666666667 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.99166666666667 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 3.96755102040816 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.048125 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.13404255319149 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.22369565217391 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.31733333333333 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.41522727272727 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 5:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.51767441860465 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.625 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 4:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.73756097560976 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 3:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.7035 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 3:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.71384615384615 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.77473684210526 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 2:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.83351351351351 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.79555555555556 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.764 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:30 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.69823529411765 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 12:00 PM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.62242424242424 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.5825 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 11:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.45612903225807 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.38466666666667 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 10:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.4151724137931 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.43357142857143 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 9:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.37185185185185 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.33230769230769 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 8:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.1696 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:30 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.12666666666667 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 7:00 AM Los Alamos PM 2.5: 4.02347826086957 µg/m3 on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 6:30 AM
Air Quality and Work Activity Guidance

The air quality guidance below is published by the New Mexico Environmental Department. Work activity guidance has also been added by LANL's ADESH Directorate.

  • Indoor PM 2.5 equivalent particulate levels are normally 70-80% of outdoor levels unless HEPA filtered.
  • Health Levels are based on total PM 2.5.
  • All health related impacts are generalized and an individual's response to smoke may vary.
  • Managers and employees are encouraged to work together to assess any localized health risks that may result from exposure to ambient smoke and employee work activities, particularly with employees with preexisting health conditions as discussed in the chart below.
Condition Concentration PM 2.5 (µg/m3
24-hour average)
Air Quality Index Cautionary Statements Recommendations for Outdoor Work Activities
Good 0-12 0-50 None. None.
Moderate 13-35 51-100 Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. None.
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 36-55 101-150 Sensitive groups or individuals with preexisting conditions with heart or lung disease ( i.e. asthma), older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. Sensitive individuals or individuals with preexisting health conditions aggravated by smoke are responsible for determining and moderating outdoor work effort/activity level.
Unhealthy 56-150 151-200 People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Restrict outdoor work activities to light activity: i.e. light manual work with hands or arms, occasional walking.

Restrict Indoor and outdoor exercise and activity (Wellness Center closure).
Wildfire Guidance

To address potential work time exposures to ambient particulate (smoke) generated from wild fires, the following guidance is offered:

  • Particulate from forest fires tend to be very small (0.4-0.7micrometers) and can add to or exacerbate many health conditions.
  • LANL currently measures ambient particulate levels in the Los Alamos town site at Los Alamos Medical Center and in White Rock using PM 2.5 micron, monitoring methods.
  • These monitoring results include contributions from smoke related particulate matter.
  • Rolling 24-hour PM 2.5 averages are updated every 30 minutes.
Learn more about Particulate Matter Sampling

LANL monitors the composition of particulate matter and volatile organic compounds in the ambient atmosphere in Los Alamos County to provide better background data for these types of constituents for use in the event of an emergency. Data are downloaded from Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM) samplers every half-hour. In order to provide the most current data possible, the data have not been fully validated and verified. Two TEOM samplers are present at each sampling site:

  • PM 2.5
    • Used for measuring particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.
    • PM 2.5 measurements represent fine particles that are inhaled deeply into the lung. Sources of these fine particles include internal combustion engines, forest fires, power plants, and atmospheric processes such as condensation and smog formation.
  • PM 10
    • Used for measuring particulate matter less than 10 micrometers in diameter.
    • PM 10 measurements include the PM 2.5 particles and larger particles such as those produced from “mechanical” disturbances such as unpaved roads, construction activities, material handling, and wind storms.
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