Healthy air is a vital component of healthy communities. Everyone deserves to breathe safe, healthy air. Unhealthy air that contains pollutants like particulate matter (or particle pollution), ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide can lead to the following health issues for children:
- Asthma attacks
- Decreased lung function/slowed lung function growth
- Development of asthma
- Increased hospital admissions and ED visits for asthma
- Increased severity of asthma attacks
- Lung disease
Frequently Asked Questions
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grant for Breathe S.M.A.R.T. (Safely Monitoring Air ‘Round Town)
In 2022, the EPA awarded us $500,000 for a 3-year project that aims to create a community-based network of neighborhood-level air quality monitoring stations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, focusing on neighborhoods with high asthma burdens. Through this program, the community will receive education about how to access the neighborhood-level air quality data, what the data means, and the action steps tied to that data so that residents have both the tools and knowledge necessary to respond to asthma-related air quality risk factors. This will be accomplished through six activities.
- Activity 1: Install fixed air quality sensors and use portable sensors at select schools in the Milwaukee Public Schools district to gather air quality data.
- Activity 2: Train school partners to analyze the sensors’ data, set up notifications, and develop school-based action plans to respond to air quality alerts.
- Activity 3: Develop and deliver educational programming focused on air quality for kids, families and communities.
- Activity 4: Engage schools in air quality monitoring activities through involvement in air quality campaigns (like anti-idling), student engagement and leadership, school STEAM curriculum/citizen science monitoring using sensors, and education and awareness programs aimed at students, families and the community.
- Activity 5: Share real-time air quality data through apps and websites, along with long-term data and trends through portals and databases.
- Activity 6: Evaluate the effectiveness of air monitoring, education, and behavior changes that can improve asthma management using our performance measures.
Air Quality Resources
We are working on developing some great resources; check back soon!
The Breathe S.M.A.R.T. program relies on partnerships with state and local entities to accomplish its goals. These partners include:
Primary Partner: Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Division of Public Health
- Children’s Wisconsin Community Health Asthma Management Program (CHAMP)
- City of Milwaukee Health Department
- Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC)
- Local academia: Medical College of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, Concordia University
- Milwaukee Public Schools and United Way’s Milwaukee Community Schools Partnership
- Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
- Urban Ecology Center
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services Asthma Program
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services Climate and Health Program
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
Contact Our Staff
Carissa Hoium, MPH
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Breathe S.M.A.R.T. is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency through EPA-OAR-OAQPS-22-01: Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring for Communities.