Centers for Disease Control and EPA announce Air Quality Awareness Week

Air Quality Awareness Week — April 27–May 1, 2015

Air quality awareness week infographic

April 24, 2015 / 64(15);425

CDC is collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge persons to learn how air quality affects health during Air Quality Awareness Week, April 27–May 1, 2015.

Although outdoor air quality has improved since the 1990s, many challenges remain. Ground-level ozone, the primary component of smog, and particle pollution are just two of the many factors that decrease air quality and might affect health. Particle pollution can cause eye, lung, and throat irritation and can cause a heart attack among persons with heart disease (1). Ozone exposure can worsen symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema and can cause coughing and pain when taking a deep breath, lung and throat irritation, and wheezing and trouble breathing during exercise or outdoor activities (2).

EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) (3) predicts the level of pollution in the air each day and provides advice on healthy physical activity. The AQI is available on the internet, on many local TV weather forecasts, or as free e-mail tools and apps (4). The AQI includes information about the five major air pollutants in the United States that are regulated by EPA, including ozone and particle pollution.

Join experts from CDC, EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Park Service on Thursday, April 30, at 1:00 pm Eastern for a TwitterChat about air quality, physical activity, and health. Use the hashtag #AirQualityChat in chat messages to join the conversation.

Additional air quality and health information is available at and Web Site Icon.


  1. CDC. Particle pollution. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014. Available at
  2. CDC. Ozone and your health. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014. Available at
  3. Environmental Protection Agency. AirNow. Air quality index. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency. Available at http://www.airnow.govExternal Web Site Icon.
  4. Environmental Protection Agency. AirNow. Air quality notifications. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency. Available athttp://www.enviroflash.infoExternal Web Site Icon.

Getting Pennsylvania on board EPA’s plan to reduce Power Plant Carbon Emissions

EPA recently held public hearings on reducing the nation’s carbon emission from power plants by 30% by 2030. The Clean Air Board is sponsoring a forum to discuss the issues raised the EPA plan. Professor Michael Heiman (Dickinson College) will discuss the merits of the plan, followed by a panel discussion and questions and answers.

The talk will cover: How to Balance Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity. Why the Obama Administration Choose Direct Regulation to Address Carbon Emissions. What are Pennsylvania’s Options for Meeting the EPA’s Mandate? Professor Heiman will address the historic and current challenge in reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change. A panel of local experts will address the options Pennsylvania has to meet EPA’s targets.

Sept. 4, 7 pm. Dickinson College – Stafford Auditorium (Rector Science Complex), 301 W. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA
The community is invited. Parking is available across Louther Street by the Library.

To comment on the EPA rule, please follow this link:

State of the Air – 2014

The American Lung Association has released its State of the Air report for 2014. To see the full report, go to  Enter the zip code for your area for fine particulate measurements.  Cumberland Co. does not have an ozone monitor, so you will have to rely on the data from Dauphin Co.

Clean Air Board talks to AAUW

On March 25, 2014, Clean Air Board member Justina Wasicek talked to AAUW, Carlisle Branch, about local air quality.  See and hear the talk. Air Quality 2014

Support clean burning wood-heaters

Less wood smoke means healthier air

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new limits on harmful air pollution from new wood-burning devices. These devices, such as boilers, furnaces, and stoves, can subject a neighborhood to dangerous air pollution. Wood smoke, which contains soot, carbon monoxide, and other toxic air pollutants, can trigger asthma attacks, cause cancer, and even cut short lives.

Wood smoke can pollute a neighborhood and can travel miles away. That means people who live nearby and far away can suffer from inhaling wood smoke. Strong standards will help ensure that new wood burning devices are much cleaner and do not further pollute our air. EPA needs to adopt these long-overdue standards to protect our health and our neighborhoods from harmful wood smoke-related air pollutants.

To send a comment to EPA, click on the American Lung Association link:

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Wednesday, Dec 4

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared an air quality action day for Dec. 4.

Tomorrow’s Forecast
Wednesday, Dec 4: 110 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Current Conditions as of 1 PM on Tuesday: Hazy conditions continue this afternoon as calm winds are keeping mixng to a minimum, allowing for PM 2.5 levels to remain in the Code Orange range. Similar conditions will continue tomorrow before we begin to see a more active pattern return late week. *** Wednesday’s Forecast: Light winds will limit vertical mixing, yet again, through at least the morning and into the afternoon on Wednesday. Increasing moisture will continue to slowly push northward, bringing some milder temperatures with it. The combination of minimal mixing and rising moisture will allow for PM 2.5 levels to remain inside the Code Orange range through at least the middle of the day. The air mass to our south that contains the higher moisture levels is slightly cleaner than the current air mass in place. Therefore, as this air mass begins to push further north we should see concentrations begin to fall and reach the lower end of the Code Orange range if not high moderate by late in the day. A southerly breeze at the surface will form late afternoon to early evening to assist in pushing this mild and humid air mass northward. As a result, there will be enough hours of Code Orange concentrations throughout the day before we see improvement back to more moderate levels by late evening. 

The Clean Air Board suggest going to this link to check particle levels in the Cumberland Valley.


Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Tuesday, Dec 3

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has declared an Air Quality Action Day for the Susquehanna Valley on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013

Tomorrow’s Forecast
Tuesday, Dec 3: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Wednesday, Dec 4: 87 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EST this Monday afternoon, very light winds, high humidity levels, and warmer air aloft are promoting high levels of fine particulate. In fact, PM2.5 levels are in the code ORANGE range. With continued very light winds near the surface, elevated humidity, and warmer air aloft, poor air quality conditions are likely to continue into the day Tuesday. Rather cloudy and hazy tonight with areas of fog. Low temperatures in the lower to middle 30s. *** Tuesday’s forecast: Winds will continue very light and variable Tuesday, as we will be between an area of low pressure in the western Atlantic and another low out in the Plains. Weak mixing along with a temperature inversion will continue to keep fine particulate levels in the code ORANGE range. With clouds and limited sunshine, afternoon temperatures will not move much beyond the middle to upper 40s. High levels of PM2.5 will also continue Tuesday night with near calm winds.For more info:

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