The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) instituted a voluntary program in 2004, asking school districts to ban school bus idling near the school building. Diesel emissions from school buses are harmful to everyone, but especially bad for children with asthma. One hundred fifty eight school districts and over 1,000 schools have joined the "No Idling Initiative for Schools."  The program instructs drivers to turn off buses when reaching a school and not turn on the the engine until the vehicle is ready to depart.  Buses should be parked at least 100 feet from a school air intake system. ADEQ Air Quality Flag Program

ADEQ's Air Quality Flag Program now has more than fifty participating schools. The program uses colored flags to alert students, teachers and parents about risks from dust and airborne particulates on high pollution days. Schools receive a daily air quality forecast from ADEQ's staff meteorologists with instructions to fly one of four flags: green for good air quality, yellow for moderate, orange for unhealthy for sensitive groups and red for unhealthy for everyone.  With the flag flying, parents of students with asthma or other breathing ailments know what to expect and teachers can take precautions to protect students on bad-air days.  ADEQ Air Quality Flag Program

How Asthma Friendly is Your School?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a variety of Tools For Schools.  Parents and school staff will find resources that are useful for determining how well their school accomodates children with asthma.  Also provided are suggestions for making school policies and practices friendlier.

IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost, using straightforward activities and in-house staff.  The Kit provides:

  • best practices
  • industry guidelines
  • sample policies
  • a sample IAQ management plan
  • reference guides
  • checklists
  • fact sheets
  • hard copy material

Air Quality Tools for Schools Action Kit