Illinois Air Quality Flag Program

Illinois Air Quality Flag Program

Modeled after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s School Flag Program, the Air Quality Flag Program is Illinois specific. The program will first be offered to schools in the Chicago Metropolitan Area and will later expand to businesses, organizations and government entities. Participating organizations raise a colored flag each day that corresponds to their local air quality forecast according to the Air Quality Index.

WHY WAS THE AIR QUALITY FLAG PROGRAM DEVELOPED?

The purpose of this program is to create public awareness of outdoor air quality conditions. When there is more pollution in the air, this puts all of us at risk, especially children with asthma, the elderly, and people with respiratory or cardiovascular ailments.

WHAT IS THE AIR QUALITY INDEX?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed the Air Quality Index as a guide for reporting daily air quality. It indicates how clean or polluted the air is and identifies health effects.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

Illinois Partners for Clean Air is currently looking for Chicago area schools to participate, with plans to expand to businesses in the near future. Appoint a Flag Program Coordinator(s) to sign up and receive the daily local air quality forecast and fly the corresponding flag along with other national, state, or school flags. Air Quality Flag Program Kits will be provided at no cost. Kits contain: five Air Quality color-coded flags, educational materials, and a Flag Program Coordinator Guide. Interested schools should complete the registration form and submit it to pfca@cleantheair.org.

WHAT DO THE COLORS MEAN?

The Air Quality Flag Program uses green, yellow, orange, red, and purple flags. These colors correspond to the Air Quality Index. 

  • Green
    means the air quality is Good. No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.
  • Yellow
    means air quality is Moderate or acceptable. Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor exertion.
  • Orange
    means air quality is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups—people with lung disease such as asthma, children, and older adults should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
  • Red
    means air quality is Unhealthy. Sensitive groups should avoid prolonged outdoor exertion. Everyone else should limit prolonged outdoor exertion.
  • Purple
    means air quality is Very Unhealthy. Sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor exertion. Everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.


HOW CAN I FIND MY DAILY AIR QUALITY?

Have the air quality forecast sent directly to your inbox or mobile device! Subscribe to Illinois EnviroFlash at http://illinois.enviroflash.info for air quality and Air Pollution Action Day alerts.

School Resources:

Illinois Air Quality Flag Program Fact Sheet

Registration Form:  To register, please complete the online, save a copy for your files and email it to pfca@cleantheair.org.

Illinois Air Quality Flag Program Coordinator Guide (Schools)

Air Quality Flag Program School Poster (11" x 17") - Display in the lunchroom or teachers work room to help inform students and faculty.

Illinois Air Quality Flag Program School Flyer (8 1/2" x 11") - Send it home with students or use it to further promote the program at your school.