On October 10, 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that it was awarding $1.2 million to 32 different state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and tribes. The EPA is certain the support to the governments and organizations will lead to better air quality in classrooms, communities, and even private homes.
A large amount of the funding is going to education and training opportunities that address the risks of indoor contaminants like radon and other particles that can cause asthma. The projects are geared to children, families, and governments. For example, some of the funds will allow speakers to educate parents about asthma triggers, and other funds will help school districts create and implement management plans for air quality.
Some of the projects are directed toward low income families as well because these families are usually the most affected by bad air quality indoors.
Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, stated, “EPA is proud to be working with our awardees across the nation to improve the air we breathe at school, work and home. American communities face serious health and environmental challenges from air pollution. This effort gives us an opportunity to improve indoor air quality by increasing awareness of environmental health risks.”
The EPA reports that air pollutants in buildings can cause symptoms like a burning nose and throat, sore eyes, headaches, and even fatigue. Serious complications can even occur such as respiratory illness and, in some cases, cancer.
The projects will mainly address air quality awareness and reduce contaminants in the following ways:
• increasing air quality controls in all levels of the community
• encouraging air management practices in schools
• increasing the testing of homes for radon and increasing the number of homes built with resistant features for radon
• increasing awareness of asthma triggers
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency