It is May once again and the American Lung Association (ALA), has kicked off its annual awareness campaign, National Clean Air Month. This campaign’s aim is to “educate people about the impact that clean air has on our lives and encourages people to take positive steps to improve the air quality-both locally and globally.” The consequences of poor air quality are documented to include cancer, bronchitis, allergies, and asthma.
This campaign was initially sparked by the Clean Air Act of 1970, which was a law that was passed that defined the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s), role in protecting the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. In 2015, the EPA announced even stricter standards to reduce ozone pollution.
Another health and advocacy group, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America also supports the need for stronger air standards. It is their position that “Ground-level ozone pollution comes from motor vehicles, power plants, industrial action and other human activities. Smog from ozone pollution is particularly harmful to human health-it contributes to asthma attacks, heart disease, respiratory ailments and more.”
During this month, the ALA encourages the public to become mindful that clean air is everyone’s responsibility and that there are simple things that we each can do:
- Walk, bike, or carpool
- Don’t burn wood or trash
- Use less energy in your home
- Support tobacco-free areas
- Reuse. Reduce. Recycle