ambient air quality

in atmospheric chemistry
A general term used to describe the quality of the outside air. Usually adjectives such as good, fair, bad, etc. are used by the media to describe this; often some form of air pollution or air quality index is employed to determine the specific descriptive term to be used. These are very qualitative terms of little or no scientific value.
See also: air pollution index
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167 (Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)) on page 2173