Air Quality Awareness Week

May 4: Air Quality Awareness Week: "Wildfires and Air Quality Awareness”

Each summer brings about the unfortunate, but very real risk of wildfires that impact the American West, including Wyoming. Some wildfires are necessary for ecosystem health, but a single uncontained wildfire can burn thousands of acres – as well as producing smoke with significant particulate matter concentrations and other pollutants that can be hazardous to your health. High levels of particulate matter can lead to respiratory issues and aggravate existing health conditions, even if you are healthy. That is why it is so important for you to stay on top of potential wildfire impacts this summer. Wildfire awareness will help ensure a safer and more enjoyable summer for you and your family.

Did you know? Wyoming DEQ closely monitors wildfires that impact our state to keep you updated of the air quality in your area. The Wyoming Air Quality Monitoring Network website, www.wyvisnet.com, provides current air quality conditions and webcam pictures at locations across the Cowboy State. It’s just one of many resources you can use to stay in the know this summer.

Daily Challenge: Check out some of these great resources for wildfire awareness:

wyvisnet.com (Current air quality conditions in Wyoming)

https://wsfd.wyo.gov/fire-management/fire-information-updates/current-fires (Active fires in Wyoming)

https://www.nifc.gov/index.html (Active wildfires across the nation and 2020 fire season outlook)

https://www.fs.fed.us/managing-land/fire (Information on managing wildfires across the country)

Let’s stay “air aware” during wildfire season in 2020!

May 4-8 is National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is celebrating Wyoming’s clean air. Healthier air makes for a healthier you!

 

May 5: Air Quality Awareness Week: “Asthma and Your Health”

Air pollution can contribute to a variety of lung and upper respiratory health problems. Exposure to ground-level ozone and other pollutants in the air can cause flare-ups and may increase the chance of upper respiratory infections, which can worsen asthma symptoms. Ozone on the ground is not the same as the ozone in the upper atmosphere. Ground-level ozone, sometimes called “smog,” is produced through a chemical reaction involving sunlight, nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other factors. NOx and VOCs come from natural sources and anthropogenic (man-made) sources.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality forecasts during the winter months (January – March) to let the public know when elevated ozone levels may form in the Upper Green River Basin (UGRB). These forecasts help industry and the public to undertake voluntary actions that reduce emissions and help to reduce ozone levels. 

Ozone in Wyoming isn’t limited to the UGRB, however, so check out the levels in your area on the Wyoming Air Quality Monitoring Network website, WyVisNet (http://www.wyvisnet.com). Being ozone aware and taking proactive measures – like not idling your vehicles – can help keep our air cleaner and healthier for all of us to breathe. Check out more information about the health effects of ozone on the Wyoming Department of Health’s website (http://www.health.wyo.gov).

Did You Know?  Regular exercise is important for staying healthy, especially for people with asthma. Be aware of the ozone levels before you get your workout in. 

Daily Challenge: Check the monitored ozone levels in Wyoming and the rest of the nation (https://www.airnow.gov/ for conditions across the country).

Knowing your air can mean protecting your health when it comes to asthma.

May 4-8 is National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is celebrating Wyoming’s clean air. Healthier air makes for a healthier you!

 

May 6: Air Quality Awareness Week: "Know Your Local Air Quality”

In a state with such beautiful outdoors and sunny skies, it’s easy to find ourselves spending our summers out in the fresh air. And, why not? With abundant camping, hiking, fishing, and other activities, it’s easy to get away in Wyoming. But, whether you’re roughing it in the back country or just spending a sunny day out at your local park, it’s always a good idea to know the quality of the air you’re breathing.

 WyVisNet (www.wyvisnet.com) provides live conditions at 22 different monitoring locations around Wyoming. It also provides monitor conditions in 10 cities and towns with filter-based systems and information on the health effects of pollutants like particulate matter, ozone (O3) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). This information can be found at https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/ozone/ – and there is plenty of information for you to interpret the monitored levels in your local area and understand the EPA’s health advisory levels.

Did you know?

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality provides EPA’s health guidelines at the link above for six different pollutants (coarse particulate matter, or PM10; fine particulate matter, or PM2.5; ozone, or O3; Sulfur Dioxide, or SO2; carbon monoxide, or CO; nitrogen dioxide, or NO2). These guidelines will help you interpret the conditions in your area.

Daily challenge:

Check out the pollutant advisory levels at the monitor in your area on WyVisNet.

A little information goes a long way for enjoying the great Wyoming outdoors!

May 4-8 is National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is celebrating Wyoming’s clean air. Healthier air makes for a healthier you!

 

May 7: Air Quality Awareness Week: “Air Quality Around Wyoming”

The State of Wyoming maintains a comprehensive network of 22 monitoring stations that continuously collect data, helping us better understand air quality in Wyoming and keep it as clean as possible for the Cowboy State’s residents and visitors. You can learn more about these monitoring stations on the Wyoming Air Quality Monitoring Network website, www.wyvisnet.com, including live images updated every 15 minutes and current air quality conditions.

The newest air quality monitoring station, Seedskadee, began operation in March of 2020 and works to characterize air quality around the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Wyoming. Paradise Road Mobile Monitor and the James Town Mobile Monitor began operating in October 2019 and December 2019, respectively. These monitors are part of the Air Quality Division’s mobile monitoring fleet and operate at chosen locations for one year. 

In addition to this network, the State also oversees 50 industrial monitoring stations that are monitoring the air quality around their facilities.

We’re all in it together when it comes to keeping Wyoming’s air quality world class – and you can contribute to clean air efforts by walking, riding a bike, avoiding excessive idling of your vehicle, and reducing fireplace or wood stove use when possible.

Did You Know? Cheyenne’s NCore station, located at North Park, is one of 82 stations in EPA’s “National Core (NCore)” Network, which spans all 50 states in the country.

Daily Challenge: Take a virtual tour of the inside of your local air quality monitoring station by visiting www.wyvisnet.com, clicking on a specific monitoring site, and clicking “Look Inside the Monitoring Station” on the lower right.

Knowing our network keeps you in the know for all things air quality!

May 4-8 is National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is celebrating Wyoming’s clean air. Healthier air makes for a healthier you!

 

May 8: Air Quality Awareness Week: "Your Air Quality Education Station!”

Air Quality Awareness Week is for everybody – adults and kids alike! Learning about our environment and the things we can do to help keep it clean can be fun! The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has all sorts of educational activities and games for children to use (https://www.epa.gov/students/games-quizzes-and-videos-about-environment) to learn about the environment. And this year, EPA has an “I care about clean air because…” art sheet for a little creative fun. You can access that sheet here: https://www.airnow.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/aqaw-poster-template-with-instructions_0.pdf).

Submit them to the Air Quality Division at wyodeq.wyo.gov and we will feature some of the submissions on Wyoming DEQ’s website! And remember, clean air is something to celebrate, so shout it out:

Stand up, shout it out,
Clean air is what we’re all about!
Because the air is what we breathe
And we’ve gotta keep it clean for you and me,
Stand up, shout it out,
Clean air is what we’re all about!

Did you know? The EPA has an entire activity book that you can access for your child at the link above. It’s a whole book full of environmental learning fun!

Daily challenge: Encourage your child to try their hand at the “I care about clean air because…” art project – we can’t wait to showcase their work!

Learning about air quality and the environment is fun and educational no matter what age you are!

May 4-8 is National Air Quality Awareness Week, and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is celebrating Wyoming’s clean air. Healthier air makes for a healthier you!