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

  • Amy S., UT

    When I was 29-years-old, I moved to the most polluted city I'd ever lived in— Salt Lake City, Utah. I could taste...Read more

  • Joe P., NJ

    Our asthma rates are 20-40 percent in Elizabeth, NJ.

    The Ironbound area of Newark has 100 percent asthmatic...Read more

  • Timothy M., CA

    Growing up in Humboldt County California, I had no issues with asthma or any respiratory issues. However, after living...Read more

  • EllaDean B., TN

    My father smoked while I was growing up in the house, in the car, at the dinner table, and in my bedroom! It always...Read more

  • Frederic C., CA

    My wife and I live downwind from the Conoco-Phillips Rodeo CA refinery. This refinery has a checkered past including a...Read more

  • Martin F., TX

    My three oldest children (9, 7 and 5 years), as well as my wife, all have asthma. It is sad that our government...Read more

  • Joseph L., IL

    As an allergist, I have seen firsthand how badly people with asthma and allergies are suffering this spring. The mild...Read more

  • Lori P., MA

    As everyone is opening their windows and venturing outside in their shorts and t-shirts, we close up shop here on the...Read more

  • Janet R., AZ

    I have emphysema. I should have died 10 years ago but instead I quit smoking. 1.) I had to know that I was going to die...Read more

  • Mary Grace M., AL

    Throughout various cancer treatments since 2002, maintaining a walking regimen has been important to me. During this...Read more

  • Marcy B., MA

    Two years ago, I moved to western Massachusetts and unknowingly to a county that scored an "F" for air quality. I chose...Read more

  • Judy W., IL

    Every day I fight for healthy air, because Lucy and Ethel can’t function properly without it. In case you were...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.
Get more facts »
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