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Girl Scout Troop 80095 flies air quality flag to protect health

March 20, 2019
The Town Crier

Canfield's Girl Scout Troop 80095 is raising a brightly-colored flag to help their fellow students be aware of daily air quality conditions. The Troop has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Air Quality Flag Program to help protect people's health. The flags are located in the cafeteria of Canfield Village Middle School for the benefit of the students there. The middle school is also where troop members Addison Hanousek, Emily Heino, Anna Kerns and Charley Masters attend school.

Each day, the troop checks the website, and will change the flag based on the color of the

Air Quality Index (AQI) to show how polluted the air is expected to be. By comparing the colored flags to

Article Photos

Troop 80095 members Addison Hanousek, Emily Heino, Anna Kerns, and Charley Masters are taking an active part in an air quality program.

the AQI, everyone who sees the flags will know what actions to take to protect their health. Green signals good air quality, yellow is moderate, orange means unhealthy for sensitive groups (like children and people with asthma), and red signals unhealthy air for everyone. A purple flag means the air quality is very unhealthy and sensitive groups should avoid all outdoor exertion while everyone else should limit outdoor exertion.

"Since we hung the flag on Jan. 25, we have had more than six yellow flag days. Which means that air quality is still good, but may be a concern to those who have sensitive respiratory issues," said troop member Addison Hanousek.

The local air quality can affect daily lives. It can change from day to day, season to season, and can even vary depending on the time of day. The AQI provides information about the health effects of

common air pollutants, and how to avoid those effects. The flags alert people to that particular day's air

quality, so they know when to modify their outdoor activities, like exercising for less time or moving

exercise indoors when necessary.

"After exploring air quality while completing the Girl Scout 'Breathe' Journey, we thought it would be

helpful for our friends to realize how good we have it here," said Charley Masters. "And when it's

not good, to explore why."

"We hope that our teachers and administrators can incorporate the flags into our daily routines and class work," said Anna Kerns.

Emily Heino added, "We developed a slide that shows on the television as you enter the school and hung a poster next to the flag, to explain the program."

Getting up-to-date air quality information is easy by subscribing at or downloading the AirNow app. To get the daily air quality forecast sent an email, cell phone or Twitter.

This program is especially helpful for those who are sensitive to the effects of air pollution, such as children, adults who are active outdoors, people with heart and lung disease, and older adults.

For more information on the Air Quality Flag Program visit EPA's AirNow website at



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