100% Free U.S. Shipping

Air Quality Awareness Week 2022: What You Need to Know

Air Quality Awareness Week 2022 (AQAW) is from May 2 - May 6 this year and is a great opportunity to interact with your family, school, and community about air quality awareness. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or someone concerned about the air you breathe, this week is the perfect time to brush up on how to improve your air quality and get involved in your community.

Filterbuy is celebrating Air Quality Awareness Week’s “Be Air Aware & Prepared” theme by breaking down the AQAW daily schedule and providing you with suggestions for how you can get involved. Our goal is to help you stay informed and prepared for the upcoming week.

Monday 5/2 - Wildfires & Smoke

Why Is Wildfire Awareness Important?

Wildfires are often wide-sweeping and notoriously hard to stop once started, especially in dry and warm climates like California, Texas, and North Carolina. Wildfire smoke is also a significant public health concern, due to the overwhelming particle pollution released into the air. According to the EPA:

The air we breathe both indoors and outdoors, always contains particle pollution. Because of their small size, particles can easily penetrate homes and buildings, increasing indoor particle concentrations. During a wildfire or other combustion-related activities, concentrations of particles can substantially increase in the air to the point that particle pollution is visible to the naked eye.

In other words, even if your home is still standing during or after a wildfire, the air you breathe may be severely impacted by carbon monoxide and pollutant-filled smoke.

Wildfire smoke inhalation can cause several health effects, including difficulty breathing, chest and throat pain, coughing, and congestion. Those with previous breathing conditions, such as asthma, are even more likely to experience symptoms. However, extreme smoke inhalation can cause permanent health problems for those without prior conditions, including smoke-induced asthma and lung damage.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Home?

There are many ways to protect yourself against possible wildfire threats and smoke exposure. As with most natural disasters, prepping your family and property for fire season beforehand is the first step towards wildfire protection. The EPA has laid out a list of ways you can prepare for fire season in your area, including:

For more detailed information on these protective measures, as well as other ways to protect your home, feel free to read the EPA’s suggestions on preparing for fire season.

Tuesday 5/3 - Asthma & Your Health

Why Is Asthma Awareness Important?

Asthma is a major issue in the U.S., affecting more than 24 million Americans (according to the EPA). The reasons behind the disease are still somewhat unclear, but those who receive an asthma diagnosis will have it for the rest of their lives. Asthma is also common among children and teens, with an estimated 3 students per 30 child classrooms being affected.

Improving community asthma awareness, especially in schools and other high-traffic indoor settings, can improve the lives of children and adults who have the condition. Spreading factual information about indoor air quality and advocating for those affected by asthma in your community or school is a great place to start.

How Can You Make Your Home and Community More Asthma Friendly?

If a person in your home has asthma, understanding their common triggers and removing them from your home is a way to prevent frequent or future attacks. Additionally, finding ways to improve your indoor air quality, such as more frequent home cleaning or replacing your air filters with those with higher MERV ratings, can help asthmatics in your home. Other options include talking to a doctor and creating an asthma attack action plan.

Outside of your home, school districts, community buildings, and businesses can help manage asthma triggers in the following ways:

To find out more information about asthma awareness, a list of related resources, and get involved in community outreach, take a look at the EPA’s asthma webpage.

Wednesday 5/4 – Citizen Science & Sensors

Why Is Citizen Science Important?

Citizen science is a form of data collection, research, and analysis that involves people around your community. Everyday individuals participate in scientific projects to help researchers understand environmental issues and how real populations in different areas are being affected.

Sensors are tools that can be used by the average person to measure environmental factors, including local outdoor air quality. This data is then given to scientists to use and better understand what is happening within local communities.

Citizen science and sensors allow you to participate in the air quality research first-hand as a community member and concerned citizen. These practices give researchers a more in-depth understanding of air pollution in highly populated or under-represented areas, allowing them to identify potential air quality issues and trends.

How Can You Get Involved In Citizen Science and Sensors?

Getting involved in a citizen science project is a great way to support air quality awareness in your community. Participatory projects are usually localized to your area, but there are also opportunities to participate in larger, country-wide studies. Here are some options supported by the EPA to get involved with citizen science:

There are many more projects to consider when getting involved in participatory sciences. For more information on citizen science projects, keep updated with the EPA and your local scientific community.

Thursday 5/5 – Environmental Justice & Air Quality

Why Is Environmental Justice Important?

As defined by the EPA, environmental justice is “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”

Environmental Justice is important for many reasons, including protecting public health, limiting pollution in communities, creating environmental regulations, and even addressing wide-scale living concerns. No matter where you live, you and your community are entitled to equal treatment and consideration with respect to environmental issues.

Often, environmental justice-based work assists vulnerable and historically marginalized communities, where the effects of poor living conditions and air quality are disregarded. From transportation to housing rights, supporting environmental justice means working towards legal initiatives that protect citizens from harmful air quality and dangerous living conditions.

How Can You Get Involved in Environmental Justice & Air Quality?

While groups like the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council provide a place for environmental justice education and discussion within the government, there are ways you can get involved on a more personal, community-focused level.

To learn more about environmental justice and how to get involved, look up organizations in your area and take a look at the EPA’s environmental justice page.

Friday 5/6 – Air Quality Around the World

Why Is Air Quality Around the World Important?

While air quality is a concern here in America, other countries have different air quality levels and standards. Countries with very high pollution rates may have higher respiratory, cardiovascular, and chronic illnesses within their general population. Spreading global air quality awareness and gathering multinational environmental information could help reduce air pollution levels in the long term.

Global air quality awareness and information also help to ensure U.S. citizens in international embassies or traveling in other countries are aware of that location’s air quality. This information can help these individuals be better informed about their health while abroad, alerting them to potential breathing hazards and dangerous air pollution levels.

How Can You Get Involved with Air Quality Around the World?

There are options available for those looking to contribute to air quality awareness around the world. Some of these include:

Looking to get more directly involved with global air quality initiatives? The Environmental Defense Fund offers membership options whose proceeds go directly to fighting climate change and global air pollution.

More Air Quality Awareness Week 2022 Resources

Air Quality Awareness Week 2022 is an opportunity to educate yourself about the importance of good indoor air quality and increase health awareness in your community. For more information on Air Quality Awareness Week 2022 and access to the AQAW 2022 Toolkit, visit https://www.airnow.gov/aqaw/.

If you want to learn more about air filter MERV ratings or want to replace your home air filter to improve indoor air quality, visit www.filterbuy.com today. We have many resources available online and are happy to help with your air quality needs.