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Test Your Air Knowledge During National Air Quality Awareness Week
Release Date: 04/29/2008
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn, (202) 564-4355 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(04/29/08) EPA and the National Weather Service challenge all Americans to improve their knowledge of the Air Quality Index (AQI) during the annual “Air Quality Awareness Week” that takes place this year from April 28 to May 2, 2008. As warm weather approaches, using the AQI will help reduce exposure to ground-level ozone pollution. The Air Quality Index is EPA’s color-coded tool for communicating air quality to the public. The most common AQI forecasts range from “code green,” --- a good day to engage in outdoor activities, to “code red” --- when everyone should use caution.
This summer, residents of many cities may notice more “code orange” ozone days than in the past. The potential increase in these “orange” days does not mean air quality is getting worse; it is a result of EPA’s recent strengthening of the national ozone standards. However, any time air quality reaches “code orange,” those sensitive to ground-level ozone should alter their outdoor activities to reduce exposure.
The daily AQI forecast is widely available from a variety of electronic and print media sources. Members of the public can also receive daily email updates of the air quality forecast by subscribing and following the directions on “EnviroFlash” at: http://www.airnow.gov/ Recent improvements to EnviroFlash make it easier to use. Just enter: the name, e-mail address, and zip code and EnviroFlash will find the nearest local forecast. The information can also be customized to select a specific forecast to be received, such as for “code red” days only.
Information about state and local Air Quality Awareness Week events is available at: http://airnow.gov/airaware and click on state/local activities.
The National Weather Service also provides a national air quality forecast at: http://www.weather.gov/aq
Information on air quality trends through 2007 is available at: epa.gov/airtrends