United Way’s Healthy Communities initiative participates in Alabama Partners for Clean Air (APCA), which is an affiliation of public and private organizations working to implement voluntary strategies that improve air quality in Jefferson and Shelby counties. APCA’s goals are to achieve and maintain compliance with national air quality standards, to protect and improve public health, to minimize the economic impacts on existing businesses, and to maximize the potential for economic growth.
In celebration of this partnership, United Way’s Safe Routes program has several upcoming events during Air Quality Awareness Week — Monday, May 2 thru Friday, May 6, 2016. Events include two Walking School Buses at Oxmoor Valley and Hemphill Elementary, a bicycle rodeo at Avondale Elementary, and a National Bike to School Day bike parade at Bluff Park Elementary.
Quick Facts —
- Children are more likely to suffer from air pollution because their lungs are still developing and they have higher breathing rates. This can result in higher risks of developing asthma, respiratory problems as well as other negative health effects. In Alabama, 17.5% of children (age 6-11) suffer from asthma in comparison with 10.4% nationally.
- Schools are encouraged to adopt “idle-free” zones and ask drivers to turn off their cars when they are not moving on the school campus.
- Cars use 1 to 2 tanks of gas per year while idling. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gas then restarting.