Vice President Al Gore tried Saturday to breathe fresh air into the nation's 2-decade-old air quality index system, saying the Environmental Protection Agency is planning to give more detailed health warnings so vulnerable people can protect themselves.
He made the announcement at the groundbreaking for a children's hospital in the Bronx.
A new category added to the air quality index will bring relief to more than 6 million children with asthma and other respiratory problems, Gore said.
"The new index will provide specific, more detailed information, including warnings for those with special health conditions, such as asthma," he added.
Gore said local forecasters would deliver a "uniform, clear, understandable measure of daily air quality and the health risks associated with it.
"The new air quality index is a critical tool Americans need to protect their health."
Many weather forecasters since 1976 have reported daily on the Air Quality Index.