What You Need To Know About Air Quality Awareness Week


Every May, The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) acknowledges Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW). The goal of this week is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our air & educating people on how to eliminate harmful factors in our atmosphere. To celebrate, we want to provide background information on this week’s history and what this year’s event signifies in the fight to protect our air quality for future generations. 


History of This Week

While the fight for clean air has been a long-standing battle, the Clean Air Act of 1970 marked a major shift in the ongoing fight. Primarily by expanding the government’s role in the battle by opening the door for more concrete legislation & policy that targets air pollution. Something that largely wasn’t focused on in previous years. Since that act was passed in 1970, revisions & amendments have been made to adapt to rising air quality issues that weren’t around when the act was first introduced.  The act serves as the foundation for Air Quality Awareness Week.

While the “official” start of Air Quality Awareness Week isn’t exactly confirmed by the EPA, it is believed that the week dedicated to educating the public on the importance of protecting air quality was first recognized in 1999. Since its inception, this week has evolved and now includes the participation of several different environmental agencies, local & state governments, and community leaders to educate & advocate for better air quality practices. 


2024 AQAW Details:

This year’s AQAW takes place May 6-10, with this year’s theme being “Knowing Your Air.” Placing emphasis on encouraging people to take action and incorporate air quality knowledge into their daily living. 

Each day this week, we will focus on a topic related to air quality.

    • May 6 – Wildland Fires & Smoke
    • May 7 – Asthma & Your Health
    • May 8 – Air Quality & Climate
    • May 9 – Air Quality & Environmental Justice
    • May 10 – Air, Animals & Plants

These themed days provide an opportunity for people to learn about what causes poor air quality and how people can prepare for and respond to events and environments with poor air quality.


More Resources

Air Quality Awareness Week is all about education. The fight for cleaner air requires those in the fight to be intellectually sound on the issues at hand. CleanAIRE NC is proud to advocate for change in this long-standing environmental issue, and we’re looking forward to providing much more information and resources to those in our great community!

For more information about AQAW & what CleanAIRE NC is doing to advocate for change, please visit the links below!

EPA Website: https://www.epa.gov/air-quality/air-quality-awareness-week

CleanAIRE NC & Air Pollution: https://cleanairenc.org/what-we-do/air-pollution/

Related Posts