YEAR OF AIR POLLUTION & HEALTH 2019
What Is the Year of Air Pollution & Health?
We are taking a full year to celebrate progress in reducing pollution in the air we breathe and highlight remaining obstacles to healthy air for all. Each month, we will spotlight the lifesaving importance of healthy air, focusing on different themes such as how air pollution harms health, who is at risk and ways to take action to protect our communities—especially in light of the challenge of climate change.
View previous months' themes:
August: "Air Pollution from Wildfires"
This month during the Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on wildfires and the dangerous air pollution they produce. Beyond the devastating destruction that wildfires cause, they are also a major source of air pollution.
Wildfire smoke is a mixture of many harmful pollutants, and fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) is one of the most dangerous. Even over a few days, high levels of particle pollution can increase the risk of heart disease and asthma attacks, and can even lead to early death.
Wildfires not only harm air quality nearby– it also impacts places hundreds of miles away, since smoke can travel long distances.
Unfortunately, climate change fuels more frequent and intense wildfires, and longer wildfire seasons. Hotter temperatures and lack of rainfall increase the risk of wildfires. Even with current measures to reduce particle pollution, these climatic changes have led to increased high particle pollution days in many places in the U.S. It is critical to address climate change in order to protect our health from the dangers of wildfires.
This month is focused on sharing information about how to protect yourself and your family from the dangerous of wildfire smoke. It is also focused on amplifying opportunities for you to help address climate change and share your experiences with wildfire smoke to help people understand the real-world health impacts of wildfires.
Events in August
View Recording: NASA Health and Air Quality Briefing
Interested in learning more about NASA health and air quality programs? Watch this briefing (Note: you may have to refresh the page once you open the link) hosted by the American Lung Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. In this briefing, you will hear from NASA Health and Air Quality Program Manager John Haynes, who provides an overview of Health and Air Quality Applications in the Applied Sciences Program of the NASA Earth Science Division. He presents a selection of environmental health projects related to wildfires, air pollution, drought, and extreme heat, and illustrates how Earth observations have supported surveillance and monitoring programs, enhanced communication among stakeholders, and advanced coordinated response efforts to mitigate environmental health risks.
Register Today: August 20 Webinar for Health Professionals "Protecting Lung Health During Wildfires"
Wildfires are a growing threat to lung health. The American Lung Association has partnered with the American Association For Respiratory Care, American Public Health Association, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the National Environmental Health Association to host a webinar on protecting lung health during wildfires. This webinar for health professionals will highlight the health impacts of wildfire smoke and information and resources to protect your patients during the wildfire season.
What Can You Do to Help Protect Healthy Air for All?
Share Your Story
Learn More: Resources for this Month
From the American Lung Association
- NEW Wildfire Blog from Lung Association volunteer Dr. Mark Futernick
- Wildfire resources page
- Lung Association Webinar on Tips to Protect Lung Health During Wildfire Season (register at the link to view the recording)
- Animation videos: Tips To Protect Lung Health During Wildfires (English | Spanish)
From the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
From the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
From the California Air Resources Board
From Climate Smart Missoula
From Kaiser Permanente
- A powerful video featuring Joshua Weil, MD, talk about being a physician leader caught deep in the middle of the California wildfires
Year At-A-Glance Calendar
View and share our monthly topics in the Year of Air Pollution & Health. Download PDF
Official Year of Air Pollution & Health Partner Organizations
If your health or medical organization is interested in collaborating with the Year of Air Pollution & Health, please send a message with appropriate contact information so we can follow up: [email protected].