Newsday (Letter to the editor): Keep cautious eye on air quality

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Published: July 28, 2011  

Last week's high temperatures and elevated ozone levels should remind all New Yorkers to take special precautions to protect their lung health and do their part to help control pollution. Elevated pollution makes it difficult to breathe and can even send individuals to the hospital.

In the American Lung Association of New York's 2011 State of the Air Report, Suffolk County was again found to be the dirtiest county in the state for ozone even though air quality improved slightly. New Yorkers should check the news daily for air-quality levels and air pollution forecasts in their area. On days with elevated ozone, those with lung disease should avoid exercising outdoors. All of us can help contribute to reduced ozone levels by walking or taking public transportation when possible, reducing electricity use and avoiding vehicle idling.

Anyone with questions about their breathing or lung health can also call the Lung Association's free Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA.

Dr. Irwin Berlin, Manhattan
Editor's note: The writer is chairman of the American Lung Association in New York.