Surgeon General Releases Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes

Legislation Needed to Improve Indoor Air Quality in New York

Albany, New York (June 9, 2009)

The American Lung Association in New York welcomes the U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes. Issued today, the Call to Action is a comprehensive look at the health risks found in homes across America, including air rife with toxic fumes and carcinogens.

"Across New York State, air pollution affects everyone, and you can't hide from it even inside your own home," said Michael Seilback, Vice President, Public Policy & Communications. "We must work to improve indoor air quality in New York, as far too many people are living in homes where simply breathing the air can make them seriously ill or threaten their lives."

To combat this public health crisis, the Surgeon General proposes a "dynamic and coordinated effort" to tackle the dangers, especially air rife with toxic fumes and carcinogens, which deny Americans the "safe, healthy, affordable, and accessible homes" to which they have a right - a fight the American Lung Association in New York has long waged.

In New York City, a bill currently before the City Council (Int. 0750-2008) would help to improve indoor air quality by reducing the number of asthma triggers in residential dwellings. It is imperative that the New York City Council move quickly to schedule a hearing on this bill so that we can remove known asthma triggers from homes.

Beyond legislative action, the American Lung Association in New York offers the below checklist as an example of 5 simple actions that New Yorkers can take to improve their indoor air quality:

1) Prohibit smoking in your home.

2) Reduce or remove as many asthma and allergy triggers as possible – in particular dust mites.

3) Change and maintain air filters on all heating and ventilation appliances.

4) Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers to control moisture.

5) When conducting indoor cleaning – open a window to let some fresh air in.

For more information on the Call to Action, visit http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/. For more information on air quality in New York State, visit www.alany.org.

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