Environmental Health works with the county’s citizens to protect and improve both indoor and outdoor air quality in Alamance County. Environmental Health has the Healthy Homes Program to help prevent serious illness among children with asthma. Environmental Health also has the Air Quality Flag Program to help raise awareness of air pollution.
For more information on indoor and outdoor air quality, please click on the links below.
Many children and adults in Alamance County suffer from health affects of polluted air. Air pollution is a major irritant that aggravates asthma. On May 1, 2007, in an effort to raise awareness around the issue of air pollution and health and to protect the health, especially of children, the Health Department, in association with the Healthy Alamance Child Asthma Coalition and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), implemented an Air Quality Flag Program. Flags were purchased by the Alamance - Caswell Medical Society Alliance. Based on information from the NC Division of Air Quality, the Air Quality Flag Program uses multi-colored flags to indicate the outdoor air quality. Six different air pollutants are monitored including ozone, particulates, Carbon Dioxide, (CO), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). The pollutants that affect our county the most are ground ozone and particulates. The air quality changes day to day or even hour to hour. The daily Air Quality Index (AQI) provides the health concerns for the different levels of air pollution and tells us how to protect our health when pollutants reach unhealthy levels. The AQI uses colors, numbers and a written explanation to describe the air quality status. Participating schools, county offices and businesses will be flying flags of corresponding colors.
Did you know that burning trash is illegal and you could be fined up to $10,000 per day for burning trash?
Alamance County Health Homes
The Healthy Homes Program is a coordinated response to preventing serious illness among children with asthma. The program builds on the work of the Healthy Alamance Child Asthma Coalition.
The Healthy Alamance Child Asthma Coalition was formed in 2001 to improve the health and well-being of asthmatic children and their families by providing education, fostering collaboration and strengthening resources.
The Healthy Homes Program is based on the knowledge that good child health begins at home. When requested, a Registered Environmental Health Specialist will visit you in your home, assess conditions that may trigger an asthma attack in your child, and provide detailed written action steps you can take to lower the risk of an attack.
They are also able to provide information on cleaning products and tools that help reduce asthma triggers in your home! Learning what may trigger your child’s asthma and taking action in reducing those triggers are important part of an effective Asthma Action Plan.
Asthma is the most common disease in school aged children in Alamance County and the leading reason children miss school. Almost a third of all children have visited the emergency department or urgent care center in the past year because of their asthma.
Asthma is a chronic disease that can make it hard for your child to breathe. In a person with asthma, tubes that carry air to his or her lungs swell and/or tighten. This causes the lungs to feel tight and makes it hard to breathe. Sometimes, a child with asthma may have a wheezing or whistling sound or cough when trying to catch his or her breath.
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. An Asthma Action Plan includes taking medication as directed by your doctor, avoiding triggers, and knowing your child’s warning signs.
Avoid asthma triggers:
- Keep your home smoke-free
- Keep pets out of your and your child’s bedroom
- Keep your and your child’s bedrooms as dust-free as possible
- Fix water leaks and avoid moisture problems
- Use mattress covers to control dust mites
- Avoid pest problems through good housekeeping
- Do not leave food or garbage out
- Clean all food crumbs or spilled liquids right away
Contact the Environmental Health Section of the Alamance County Health Department at 336-570-6367 or complete the Healthy Homes Referral form to schedule a consultation in your home.
If you would like to volunteer with the coalition, visit Healthy Alamance.