Schools Adopt Air Quality Flag System

May 7, 2011

More schools around the state are flying color-coded flags to let students and staff know about poor air quality conditions. The flags correspond with the Air Quality Index. Health officials say people with breathing sensitivities should be careful on code orange, red, or purple days. Allison Davis with the E-P-A says the Triangle usually gets several code orange days each summer.

Allison Davis: "If it's code orange that means the air quality is unhealthy for certain groups of people and they can include people with asthma. And it's something you have to watch for kids because their lungs are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than we do."

The program is designed to raise awareness about air quality, and to help teachers know when recess time will be healthiest for their students. Bethesda Elementary School in Durham is the latest to adopt the flag program.