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U.S. Air Quality Summary (text)

Air Quality Index (AQI) Educational Toolkit for Weathercasters – January, 2007 (revised)

Toolkit Overview

Endorsed by:
American Meteorological Society National Weather Association

Welcome to the Air Quality Index (AQI) educational toolkit for weathercasters. This toolkit was designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for weathercasters who make educational presentations to schools and civic groups. The toolkit contains key materials to help audiences understand how they can use the AQI to find out about local air quality and how they can protect their health when the air is polluted.

Your Role in Air Quality Awareness

Air pollution is a serious public health issue. Because of the linkage between weather and air pollution, weathercasters play an important role in raising air quality awareness. Like many weathercasters, you may be incorporating air pollution alerts and associated health messages into your weathercasts. Presentations by weathercasters offer another powerful venue for educating school children, families, teachers, and civic groups about air quality and health. Two pollutants in particular, ozone and particle pollution, are often found at unhealthy levels in many parts of the United States. Real-time data and forecasts for ozone and particle levels, as well as messages about how to protect health, are now available to the public through many channels, including EPA’s AIRNow web site (www.airnow.gov). EPA and others are working to help educate the public about the resources they can use to protect their health from air pollution.

What’s In the Toolkit?


  • Key Messages — Bullet point lists of key air quality messages for each presentation (for Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Civic groups).
  • Notes Pages — Slides and talking points for each slide. Long and short versions for civic groups are provided to accommodate available presentation time.
  • Handouts - Simple one- or two-page, age-appropriate handouts for students and adults.
  • PowerPoint presentation - for Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, and Civic groups. Long and short versions for civic groups are provided to accommodate available presentation time.

Additional Resources for Weathercasters

  • Fact Sheets - Basic information on the AQI, air quality mapping and forecasting, the health effects of air pollution, and relevant publications and web sites for further information.
  • Optional Additional Activities — For Grades 6-8 and Civic groups.

Materials to Leave with Teachers

  • A set of Classroom Activities.
  • Background Information on air pollution, health, and the AQI.
  • Other Resources - Descriptions of additional curricula, classroom activities, publications, and web sites
You will need Microsoft Powerpoint to view a number of files on this site. A free PowerPoint viewer is available for download from Microsoft.
Acrobat imageYou will also need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See AIRNow PDF page to learn more.

Download Entire Toolkit (8.74MB, 254 pp., PDF)
( Note: Hard copies are available for broadcasters use. Contact elmore.deborah@epa.gov )

PowerPoint Presentations:


Forecast Earth: Air Aware Video (About Air Pollution and Health)
Format: Windows Media Time: 00:21:40 Size: 76MB

This page was last updated on Monday, August 30, 2010