The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has partnered with the air quality programs of the Shawnee County Health Agency, City of Wichita Department of Environmental Services, Unified Government of Kansas City, Kan., and Johnson County Environmental Department to promote National Air Quality Awareness Week, April 28 through May 2.
"National Air Quality Awareness Week reminds all of us about the importance of making informed decisions about maintaining and improving our air quality to protect health," said Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of KDHE. "Many of the choices we have, such as reducing vehicle engine idling, carpooling or riding a bike can also help save on fuel costs."
Bremby said that other steps to improve air quality include:
· Mowing the lawn in the early evening instead of during the morning or
afternoon. A mower's exhaust contributes more to ground-level ozone
formation when the weather is warmer and sunnier than in the evening.
· Recycling everything you can. This keeps wastes out of landfills, which can emit the greenhouse gas methane when disposed waste materials degrade.
· Switching from standard to compact fluorescent light bulbs, which use
significantly less energy, but last much longer and produce brighter light.
Throughout the year, there are some days when air quality could pose health risks, such as asthma and other lung problems. Weather conditions and other factors can affect air quality including ground-level ozone levels, which can contribute significantly to health issues.
"We are lucky to have good air quality on most days in Kansas," said
Kathleen Waters, Outreach Coordinator for the Bureau of Air and Radiation at KDHE. "Some of the steps we can take to keep our air clean will also put money back into our pockets by saving fuel and lowering energy costs."
For more information about air quality and clean air choices, please visit
the KDHE Bureau of Air and Radiation Web site at www.kdheks.state.ks.us/bar or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Web site at www.epa.gov/airnow/airaware/airaware.html.