Air Quality


Despite decades of progress, Californians still breathe some of the most polluted air in the nation, with approximately 70 percent of Californians living in areas with unhealthy air. Numerous scientific studies have linked air pollution to lung cancer, worsening asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and early death as well as increased hospitalizations for breathing problems.

Research also shows that air pollution may cause asthma in otherwise healthy children. More than five million Californians have been diagnosed with asthma, including nearly one million children. Elderly residents, children, infants, lower income communities and others living with respiratory illnesses are most vulnerable to unhealthy air. Air pollution can even reduce lung function in children, and limit breathing capacity for a lifetime. 

For decades, the American Lung Association in California has led the way to improved air quality, successfully promoting policies to reduce car and truck emissions, diesel exhaust from trucks, buses, ports and off-road equipment, and supporting key efforts to implement smart growth solutions that reduce the need to drive and our dependence on dirty petroleum. A major focus of our current efforts is to maintain progress in implementation of life-saving air pollution laws made possible through California's clean air leadership.

State of the Air 2015 report

For past State of the Air reports, click here

Moving California Forward: Zero and Low-Emmisions Freight Pathways

Protect the Air You Breathe!

You can help protect the air you breathe and fight for clean and healthy air. Sign up for our Action Network and become an e-advocate, or participate in the programs listed below:

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Spare the Air program works to reduce air pollution in the region and alert the public when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy.  Sign up to stay informed about the Spare the Air program and air quality conditions in the Bay Area.

DriveHealthy is a clean air initiative by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair that helps reduce air pollutants in the state through vehicle maintenance education. Proper maintenance not only improves vehicle safety and fuel efficiency – it also protects the air by reducing the amount of emissions released by the vehicles. For more information, visit