Elementary School Air Quality Flag Program

The Air Quality Flag Program is designed to help teachers, school staff, coaches and parents protect children’s lungs on days when poor air quality poses a health threat.

Colored flags – each representing a different air quality health category ranging from good (green) to very unhealthy (purple) – are flown each day on school campuses to identify air quality conditions. Our Air Quality Index Activity Chart is used in conjunction with the flags. The color coded chart is a guide to modify activities on days when air quality is especially bad. Charts are sent home with each student and large versions are displayed at the schools.

During the warmer months, poor air quality becomes a serious health issue for thousands of Sacramento area residents, especially children. The flags are one of many measures that can help reduce harmful exposure to higher than usual levels of airborne pollutants. Asthma, increased susceptibility to illnesses such as bronchitis, and interference with lung growth can all result from consistent exposure to poor air quality. However, adjusting to air quality levels — such as holding physical education classes indoors on bad air days — can protect children from long-term health risks.

Since 2007, the Elementary School Air Quality Flag program has been implemented in more than 25 schools across Sacramento and Placer Counties. Click here to request more information about the the Elementary School Air Quality FlagProgram.


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The Elementary School Air Quality Flag Program is currently being implemented in afterschool program sites across Sacramento and Placer Counties, made possible through funding from the following organizations:

Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails is committed to the fight for clean air, healthy lungs and a tobacco-free future in Northern California.

We are a recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Tax ID#: 94-1641240

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