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Local School Adopts Air Quality Flag Program

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Sarah-Arbogast-Web Sarah Arbogast
Sarah Arbogast joined the KDKA team as a Traffic Reporter in November...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With more and more children suffering from conditions like asthma, parents and teachers are paying close attention to air quality.

Now, some local students are keeping an eye on the levels as well.

There are two flags outside of the Environmental Charter School in Regent Square – the American flag and a smaller, colorful flag.

Depending on the day, you may see purple, red, orange, or green. Each color is an indication of the air quality.

“The kids come and they monitor the air quality and they raise the flags according to what the air quality is like in the city for the day,” Laura Micco said.

“Green is the best, it means the air quality is good and yellow is moderate and the lowest we’ve had is orange which is be cautious,” Sophia Wynn said.

Today is a yellow day. The 4th and 5th graders involved in the school flag program said they are learning a lot about the air they breathe.

The program is sponsored by the Southwest Pennsylvania Air Quality Partnership and the Group Against Smog and Pollution.

“Air quality is more important that just like, ‘Oh it’s a little stuffy outside,’” Miles Bennett said.

The flag program is especially important for students at the Environmental Charter School, with Frick Park being right next door, they’re constantly outside for different activities.

“If it’s an orange day or higher than that, then we’ll have to communicate to the staff and students that the air quality is poor and if you have something like asthma than you might want to take it easy that day or stay inside,” Micco said.

“Kids are young and their lungs are still developing, so we want to protect them from poor air quality,” Betsy Mallison said.

The school flag program is currently in 10 schools around the region, but the goal is to expand that number over the school year.

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