The percentage of people with asthma has doubled in the last decade, and quadrupled since 1973. Asthma has become the most common chronic medical condition in children. To help those with asthma, allergies, and other respiratory illnesses, a number of governmental agencies have teamed up to provide a free gift. This gift comes from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the National Weather Service, NASA, the National Park Service, Environment Canada, and a coalition of tribal, state, and local governments.
Together this cross-agency team will deliver instant, customized air quality information to your cell phone, pager, and/or email – to allow people to adjust their activities or preventive medications to stay ahead of their condition. You might sign up to be alerted if the temperature is going to drop, if the mold in the air is especially high, if pollen are rising, or if ozone or particulate pollution are likely to trigger a problem. You can learn in advance which days are likely to be smog days. In the remaining days of 2004 this helpful service, called EnviroFlash, is available in Cincinnati, Detroit, Greensboro, High Point, Nashville, Oklahoma City, and Winston-Salem. They expect to expand it to many other locations by March 2005. In the meantime, much of the information is available online at the AIRNow, EnviroFlash website.