How Healthy Is the Air You Breathe? For Six Out of Ten Americans, the News Isn’t Good.

What’s the state of your air? Is it healthy? Or too often a noxious mix of chemicals and particles that can damage your lungs and even shorten

your life? The American Lung Association’s tenth annual State of the Air Report shows what’s in our air—by location— and how the air we breathe continues to threaten the lives and health of millions of Americans.

The State of the Air report offers local air quality rankings, including the 25 dirtiest cities.  It also offers hope—showing progress made in the fight for clean air, and an action plan to help clean the air and protect our lungs. You can get the grade for your community by typing in your zip code here:

Air pollution and your lungs
State of the Air looks at two of the most widespread air pollutants—ozone and particle pollution—that can cause a host of alarming symptoms, ranging from shortness of breath and asthma attacks, to chest pain, heart attacks, and even premature death.

You can learn more about air pollution’s effect on your health here.

Revealing picture
The 10th annual State of the Air report presents a wealth of data and paints a revealing picture of the air we breathe:

· Air pollution itself remains a real and urgent threat to public health.

· Some cities have made steady progress to clean up their air, while others have had mixed results or gotten worse since our last report. 

· Six out of ten Americans live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution.

· 40.5 million Americans live in counties where the outdoor air failed all three tests.

· Only one city—Fargo, N.D.—ranked among the cleanest in all three air pollution categories covered in State of the Air.

· Certain people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including infants and children, older adults, people with lung diseases like asthma, people with heart disease or diabetes, in addition to anyone who works or exercises outdoors.

· Minorities and lower income groups are disproportionately affected by illnesses caused by air pollution.

What we’re doing
The American Lung Association has been leading the fight for clean air. We have successfully moved the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten clean air standards so that communities have the legal support they need to reduce their air pollution. We have pushed for power plants to clean up of smog-forming emissions and have been on the front lines fighting for cleaner diesel fuels and diesel engines. 

Real progress, yes, but there’s still much to be done. We need stricter federal emissions controls, even stronger ozone standards, an improved network of air monitors, and stricter enforcement of air quality laws.

What you can do
You can do your part to help improve air quality today. Drive less. Don’t burn wood or trash. Use less electricity, and make sure your local school system requires clean school buses. You can join the fight for cleaner air laws by becoming an American Lung Association e-advocate.  Your support makes our work possible. Make a donation today to help the American Lung Association continue to fight for healthy lungs and clean air across the country.

News Source: American Lung Association

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