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 (CO2), 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.