State of the Air Shared Stories | American Lung Association

State of the Air Shared Stories

We all have a reason to fight for clean air. Check out some personal stories below that highlight the need for healthy, safe air.

Share your story

  • Susanne S., CA

    I was so surprised to learn that only one city in my state had clean air. I think as one of the largest states on the... Read more

  • Delia B., IL

    I am a woman of color who lives in an overburdened environmental justice community. There are approximately 83,000... Read more

  • Howard H., FL

    Clean air is vital to the health of the body, mind and soul. Air that has become contaminated does not provide the... Read more

  • Robin C., FL

    I have been diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, and I struggle to breathe even with the assistance of oxygen. I can tell... Read more

  • Logan V., DE

    We used to live in Northern Utah where Logan was hospitalized a few times for acute asthma. We found that air pollution... Read more

  • Lucy P., CO

    When my son was very young, he was diagnosed with asthma. We were in a very polluted state at the time. Every time he... Read more

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Did You Know?

  1. More than 5 out of 10 people live where the air they breathe earned an F in State of the Air 2016.
  2. Nearly 166 million people live in counties that received an F for either ozone or particle pollution in State of the Air 2016.
  3. Nearly 20 million people live in counties that got an F for all three air pollution measures in State of the Air 2016.
  4. Breathing ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn within the lungs.
  5. Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
  6. Particle pollution can also cause early death and heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for people with asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  7. Particles are smaller than 1/30th the diameter of a human hair. When you inhale them, they are small enough to get past the body's natural defenses.
  8. Ozone and particle pollution are both linked to increased risk of lower birth weight in newborns.
  9. Do you live near, or work on or near a busy highway? Pollution from the traffic may put you at greater risk of harm.
  10. People who work or exercise outside face increased risk from the effects of air pollution.
  11. Millions of people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including infants, older adults and people with lung diseases like asthma.
  12. People of color and those earning lower incomes are often disproportionately affected by air pollution which put them at higher risk for illnesses.
  13. Air pollution is a serious health threat. It can trigger asthma attacks, harm lung development in children, and can even be deadly.
  14. You can protect your family by checking the air quality forecasts in your community and avoiding exercising or working outdoors when the unhealthy air is expected.
  15. Big polluters and some members of Congress are trying to change the Clean Air Act and dismantle 45 years' of progress. The Lung Association is fighting to keep the law strong to continue to protect public health.
  16. Cutting air pollution through the Clean Air Act will prevent at least 230,000 deaths and save $2 trillion annually by 2020.
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