The outdoor air quality flag program in central California: A school-based educational intervention to potentially help reduce children's exposure to environmental asthma triggers

Derek G. Shendell, Mary Michal Rawling, Christine Foster, Alicia Bohlke, Bobbie Edwards, Susie A. Rico, Justina Felix, Sandra Eaton, Stephanie Moen, Eric M. Roberts, Mary Beth Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper describes a novel school-based, visual environmental public health educational intervention intended to help reduce the exposure of children-and adults-to outdoor air pollution, including known environmental asthma triggers like ozone and particles. The overarching goal was to enhance the learning, recreational, and work environments of students and staff. The specific purpose of the Asthma-Friendly Outdoor (Ambient) Air Quality Flag Program was to establish an education and communication tool for Central California communities that would accomplish two things: 1) Establish permanent local policy change to existing operating procedures in school districts and schools to help reduce the exposure of students, teachers, staff, and nearby communities to outdoor environmental asthma triggers and 2) provide education on air quality and potential health effects of exposure to air pollutants. Data on the program from its initial years are presented. To date, the following important lessons have been learned: 1) Science-based, simple, visual, low-cost school-based educational interventions to help reduce human exposure to outdoor environmental asthma triggers (i.e., ozone, particles, and pollens) can work in socioeconomically and ethnically diverse urban and rural or agricultural communities, and 2) local health and environmental justice groups such as asthma coalitions can successfully lead school-based environmental interventions to help improve children's quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-31
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Environmental Health
Volume70
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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    Shendell, D. G., Rawling, M. M., Foster, C., Bohlke, A., Edwards, B., Rico, S. A., Felix, J., Eaton, S., Moen, S., Roberts, E. M., & Love, M. B. (2007). The outdoor air quality flag program in central California: A school-based educational intervention to potentially help reduce children's exposure to environmental asthma triggers. Journal of Environmental Health, 70(3), 28-31.