What to Expect During Air Quality Awareness Week 2023

Woman celebrating air quality awareness

What do you know about the air you’re breathing? 

Contrary to common belief, air isn’t just made up of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Rather, it’s also composed of complex elements—some of which are toxic to your health. One of these is particulate matter (PM2.5), which can cause adverse health effects like asthma, lung cancer, and even cardiovascular diseases. 

So, how do you learn more about the quality of air you’re breathing to protect yourself from these air pollutants? 

Join the National Air Quality Awareness Week (AQAW) 2023 and hear from some of the top experts in the field. Understand how you can protect yourself from poor air quality and know what you can do to have cleaner air.  

In this article, we’ll discuss what you can look forward to this week. 

When is Air Quality Awareness Week in 2023? 

Celebrated yearly, Air Quality Awareness Week is a week-long event that seeks to educate the public on air quality. More importantly, it seeks to inspire everyone to take action to improve the current state of air quality. 

This year, AQAW will last from May 1 to 5, 2023, and the theme is, “Working Together for Clean Air.” And it focuses on the everyday ways you can minimize air pollution.  

AQAW is organized by the US Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of State, as well as State, Local, and Tribal agencies. 

Air Quality Awareness Week Topics in 2023

Aside from learning about air quality, you can look forward to discovering the latest solutions to combat air pollution.  

Here are the air quality topics for 2023: 

Monday, May 1: Wildfires and Smoke 

With over 70,000 wildfires a year, wildfires and their impact on air quality are becoming a more pressing issue. As such, AQAW is dedicating its first day to talking about the effects of wildfire, what you can do to prevent it, and how you can protect yourself from wildfire smoke. 

Tuesday, May 2: Asthma and Your Health 

At least 25 million people suffer from asthma. And you can expect the numbers to rise as air quality reaches even more unhealthy levels. Watch out for talks and events on Tuesday to find out how to shield yourself from asthma-triggering air pollutants. 

Wednesday, May 3: Air Quality and Transportation 

Vehicles are a major source of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter—and thousands of other pollutants. On this day, experts will be discussing how transportation contributes to air pollution. Additionally, you can expect tips for how to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Thursday, May 4: Air Quality and Climate 

You can’t talk about air quality without talking about climate. That’s because climate events, like temperature inversion, can affect air quality all over the world. Tune in to this day to learn more about the relationship between them. 

Friday, May 5: Participatory Science 

Scientists and academics aren’t the only ones who can study air quality. You can also conduct research, contribute to air quality news, and join air quality-related projects. Discover more about what you can do as a community scientist at these talks. 

3 Ways You Can Increase Air Quality Awareness 

While AQAW is only one week, the fight against poor air quality is a continuous process. Every day, we can all work towards a better future for ourselves and future generations.

You can start by raising air quality awareness in these 3 ways: 

#1 – Share Air Quality Maps with Your Friends  

Air quality maps display real-time air quality levels across different cities. As such, you can use it to compare air quality levels with your friends’ locations and start a conversation about air quality. You can also conduct experiments with them to understand how air pollution can differ from one place to another. 

#2 – Invest in an Air Quality Monitor 

With low-cost, high-quality air quality monitors becoming more available, you can invest in one for your home or workplace. Use it to detect air pollutants and track your exposure to them over time. This will help you, your family, and your co-workers understand the impact of air pollution and how to minimize exposure.  

#3 – Support Local Air Quality Organizations 

Consider donating to air quality organizations researching new ways of dealing with air pollution or joining groups to ensure our cities and towns remain safe and healthy for everyone. This way, you can help bring attention to issues affecting your community now. 

These are just a few ways to increase air quality awareness. But every little bit makes a difference, so act today and help create a healthier, breathable future for everyone. 

Worried about your air quality? 

Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map or join PurpleAir's mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home.  

Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.