Clean Air

We champion healthy air for all to breathe.

State of the Air

For more than 20 years, our annual "State of the Air" report has provided a trusted, local report card on air quality across the country. How clean is the air in your community?

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Share Your Story

Has air pollution impacted your health or the health of someone in your family? Share your story and help us highlight how important it is to have clean air to breathe.

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Healthy Air Campaign

With your help, we advocate for strong protections that ensure clean, healthy air for all to breathe. You can make a difference.

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Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. Learn more about how polluted air can make you sick and what we can do to improve air quality for everyone.

This three-minute video describes how indoor air quality impacts your lungs, as well as providing practical tips for improving the indoor air quality in your home.

How IAQ Affects your Lungs

The air we breathe is filled with lots of things including gases and particles – Most are too small to see with the naked eye.

Everything we breathe affects our health in different ways.

Health effects from poor indoor air quality might include short-term symptoms like headaches, eye, nose, and throat inflammation, coughing and painful breathing, bronchitis, and skin irritation.

Extreme side effects can target the central nervous system, cause respiratory diseases like asthma, emphysema, and cause cancer and cardiovascular disease. Poor indoor air can also impact the blood, spleen, liver, and reproductive system.

Young children, older adults, and people with existing lung disease are most at risk of negative health effects from poor indoor air quality.

Before we can understand how indoor air quality impacts our lungs, we first need to understand how our lungs work.

When you breathe in through your nose or mouth, air travels down your airways, or trachea, dividing into your right or left lung via the bronchi.

The bronchi then separate into small tubes called bronchioles. Like tree branches, bronchioles divide into thousands of even smaller passages.

At the end of each bronchiole is a cluster of little air sacs called alveoli.

Alveoli are wrapped in tiny blood vessels called capillaries.

The air you breathe in fills these air sacs with oxygen-rich air. Here is where oxygen is transported throughout the body.

Not all the air you breathe is clean. Indoor air contaminants can include small particles that are suspended in the air.

When those particles from the air travel deep into your body, it can have a negative impact on your health.

These particles can include things like dust, tobacco smoke, diesel emissions, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and more.

Particulate matter – often written as PM - are so small they go into the lungs all the way to the alveoli. Once there, they can irritate and corrode the alveoli wall, damaging the lungs and causing lung disease.

These pollutants, at high levels, have also been linked to an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.

The good news is that we can improve our indoor air quality.

Simple things you can do to improve your indoor air quality include:

Reduce dust by vacuuming regularly and using a microfiber or damp cloth for dusting.

Reduce humidity to avoid mold and mildew buildup and change appliance filters regularly.

And make sure to test your home for dangerous gases like radon. Doing so can help keep the air in your home safe.

Clean Air at Home

Don't let the air in your home threaten your family's health, especially if someone in your family has asthma or another lung disease. Let us show you how to protect them.

Clean Air at Work

Employees should be safe while on the job and that includes healthy air quality. Breathing unhealthy air at work can be dangerous, but it's also preventable.

Clean Air at School

Children's lungs are still growing and need special protection. Here's how to help ensure healthy air in schools where children learn and play.

Clean Air Outdoors

Outdoor air pollutants carry many dangerous health effects. Learn more about what they are and how to protect yourself from them.

Climate Change

Millions of people face greater health risks from the impacts of climate change, especially people with lung and heart disease. Learn more about who is at risk and what we can do to address climate change and champion clean air for all.

Emergencies & Natural Disasters

These resources help you respond to unexpected events that can threaten the air quality in your community and your home.

Healthy Air Campaign

With your help, we advocate for strong protections to ensure clean, healthy air for all to breathe. You can make a difference.

Stand Up For Clean Air Initiative

You can help protect our nation’s air quality. From reducing emissions to advocating for change, small actions can make a big, collective difference.

State of the Air

How clean is the air in your community? How does it compare? How has it changed? Find out in our annual "State of the Air" report.

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