Clean Air Healthy Kids

Our Children At Risk

Kids are vulnerable to the harmful health effects of dirty air.

Air pollution is the greatest environmental health risk factor for premature death in the world. Ground-level ozone and particle pollution, both “criteria air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act, pose the greatest threat to human health in the United States. Children are particularly susceptible to poor air quality; research shows that children who breathe polluted air can have lifelong reduced lung capacity.

Due to higher-than-average asthma rates among African-American children in particular, this population is especially vulnerable. Gasp seeks to raise awareness and understanding of the health effects of air pollution on childhood health outcomes through our Clean Air, Healthy Kids initiative.

We will utilize a citizen-science framework to educate children. Strategic activities include: building ozone gardens (Magic City O3 Garden Project), demonstrating air monitors (AirWatch in Schools), and implementing the EPA’s flag alert system (AirNow Flag Program).

Who’s at Risk in Jefferson County?

Portrait of a girl using asthma inhaler

✔️ 300,000+ children under the age of 18

✔️ 36,000+ children with asthma

✔️ 85,000+ adults with asthma

✔️ 104,000+ people living with COPD

✔️ Nearly 140,000 people with diabetes

✔️ Nearly 190,000 older adults

✔️ Nearly 220,000 people living in poverty

✔️ 125,000+ people with cardiovascular diseases

The Biggest Threats: Ozone & Particle Pollution

Air Quality 101 for Kids

Click on the image below to download this flyer designed specifically for school-aged children (K-8). Feel free to use them in the classroom anytime. Would you like to schedule a presentation to your class? Click here!

What is Citizen Science?

“Citizen science is the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs. Usually this participation is done as an unpaid volunteer. […] Citizen-science projects may include wildlife-monitoring programs, online databases, visualization and sharing technologies, or other community efforts.” —via National Geographic

Recent Blog Posts

Alternative Facts: Air Pollution, Climate Change & Health

This past Sunday, a Meet the Press interview featuring Counselor to President Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway went viral after she coined the phrase “alternative facts.” I couldn’t help but chuckle when I heard this euphemism coming out of the new...
Read More

Where Do We Go From Here?

Friends, Happy Veteran’s Day! We are so grateful for the service of those who keep us safe and secure. Our service men and women make it possible for us to do this important work freely. On that note, I don’t think I need to tell you that the outcome of...
Read More

EPA Issues Final Cross State Air Pollution Rule

On September 7, 2016, The EPA finalized Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) in the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) Update to address air quality impacts of the interstate transport of ozone air pollution in the eastern United States. CSAPR addresses summertime...
Read More

Stronger Air Pollution Standards Could Save Lives

“Meeting tighter pollution standards could prevent 63 avoidable deaths, 117 serious illnesses, and 88,414 adverse impact days in Birmingham alone.” A report released this week by the American Thoracic Society and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at...
Read More

SCOTUS Denies Appeal Over Embattled MATS Rule

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Michigan v. EPA. This means that SCOTUS rejected Michigan’s and 20 other states, including Alabama, appeal to block the mercury and air toxics standards (MATS). In denying review, SCOTUS upholds...
Read More

This is Why I Gasp

by Will King, Gasp Summer Research Fellow As we head outdoors to enjoy the sunny days and vibrant colors of spring, the quality of the air we breathe may be the last thing on our minds. May is Clean Air Month, a time devoted to bringing increased awareness to...
Read More

State of the Air Report Shows Citizen Advocacy and Common-Sense Policies Work

The American Lung Association released its annual “State of the Air” report today and it showed that Birmingham has made significant improvements in air quality over recent years. The Birmingham metro area ranked 53rd most polluted for ozone, 22nd most polluted for...
Read More

What’s In The Air We Breathe? Understanding Air Toxics & Risk

Birmingham’s air quality has improved since the days when thick orange-brown clouds enveloped the city, but our air is still far from healthy. In the American Lung Association’s 2014 State of the Air report, Birmingham ranked 16th in annual particle pollution and 23rd...
Read More

A Toast To Clean Air: Honoring the Past, Committing to the Future

Birmingham was built, literally and figuratively, by steel, iron and coal. This is no secret. The massive statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalworking, who keeps an eye on the city from atop Red Mountain is a dead giveaway. So, too, are the remains of...
Read More

New Ozone Standards Will Protect Children, Elderly

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released a long-awaited new air quality health standard for ground-level ozone, or smog. This announcement is welcome news for thousands of Alabamians young and old who want to live a healthy life. The EPA set the new...
Read More