May 2016 Kicks Off with Air Quality Awareness Week

Graphic of CloudsFor the 10th year in a row, The Environmental Protection Agency is celebrating Air Quality Awareness week during May 2-6, 2016.

Various states and counties all around the United States are hosting events to spread awareness about how air quality affects your health.

A list of events you can participate in can be found on the AirAware website. A preview of these events are listed below.

This year’s theme for the event is Show How You Care About the Air.

Topics include:

  • Citizen Science
  • Asthma and Air Quality
  • Air Quality Around the World
  • Air Quality Trends

The Air Quality Flag Program is an excellent example of the theme for 2016. This program is used to educate organizations and their local communities about about the air quality in their area. Using a set of colored flags, organizations can help others take action when air quality is unhealthy.

The flags come in the colors of green, yellow, orange, red and purple, and each day supporting organizations raise a flag to alert others how clean or polluted the air is in their location.

Airnow.gov provides several activity guides to help organizations share which outdoor activities are best suited according to the level of air pollution that’s in the forecast for that day. This is a great way to help people in a local community still remain active outdoors while reducing exposure to harmful airborne particles.

Current State and Local Events include:

Florida

Hillsborough County
Clean Air Fair is a free event with a variety of local vendors and environmental exhibitors. Attendees will enjoy complimentary refreshments, food samples, prize drawings and live music. This air quality awareness is free and open to the public.

Broward County
An Air Quality Awareness Week display will be at the the following libraries: Southwest Regional Library, South Regional Library, West Regional Library and Main Library.

Illinois

Chicago
Local businesses are encouraged to join the Illinois Air Quality Flag Program and compete in a week-long challenge to promote air quality awareness.

New Jersey

New Jersey is offering a full week of air quality facts and actions that all local residents can participate in. Find out more at http://www.state.nj.us/dep/aqaweek/.

Oregon

Kalmath County
The Environmental Health Division will be posting the health effects of wood smoke from residential woodstoves and wildfires.

Pennsylvania

Wayne
Stakeholders in government, non-profit organizations, transportation, maritime and private sector will meet to discuss opportunities to promote clean air initiatives in the Mid-Atlantic.


To have your event added to the 2016 Air Quality Awareness Week list of State and Local events, please contact Debra Lee at lee.debra@epa.gov.