Air Quality Flag Program

"Poor air quality creates risk for those with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and impacts lung health for all Arizonans. We support the Air Quality Flag program as a valuable resource for schools and other organizations to take action to protect people’s health. By adopting the Flag Program, people will know when to adjust their physical activity and reduce exposure to outdoor air pollution." 

                 Barbara Burkholder, Board Member and Advocacy Chair
                      of the Arizona Asthma Coalition

“By starting the flag program, I am able to better communicate with school officials when students with asthma should take it easy during outdoor recess or even stay inside. As the nurse, I help children with their inhalers when at school. Since flying the flags this school year, I noticed that some students are not coming to my office as often and needing their inhaler.”

                — Juli Hull, Nurse
                      of Mesa Public Schools

Helping Communities Become More Air Aware

ADEQ's Air Quality Flag Program promotes a healthy environment for our children, workers, family, friends and neighbors by providing Arizona communities with resources to inform residents about:
  • Local outdoor air quality conditions
  • How air pollution impacts health
  • Actions we can take to protect ourselves
  • Ways we can improve the quality of the air we breathe

The program is especially important for children, including teens, and those with asthma or other respiratory illnesses, whose risk of experiencing health issues from air pollution is greater.

How Does It Work?

The program provides participating facilities with educational materials and colored flags that notify communities about local air quality conditions and correspond with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Air Quality Index (AQI). By sharing educational materials with residents and flying the flags in a visible spot, the facilities help alert people to that particular day’s air quality, so they know when and how to modify their outdoor activities.

Who Can Participate?

Eligible Air Quality Flag Program participants include schools, environmental education centers, after-school/early-childcare facilities, community health centers, fire departments, parks and recreation centers, and businesses located in Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yuma and Santa Cruz counties.

Want to start a Flag Program at your school or organization? | Learn How >