Year of Air Pollution & Health | American Lung Association

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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:

July: "Health Toll of Heat and Ozone Pollution"

July: Health Toll of Heat and Ozone Pollution

This month during the Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on dangerous ground-level ozone pollution, a common threat during the hot summer months. Ozone – often called smog – forms in the atmosphere when gases from tailpipes, smokestacks and other sources come in contact with sunlight. Ozone is more likely to form in hot, stagnant air, which is why we often see spikes of ozone pollution on hot summer days.

Ozone pollution can cause many health issues, including asthma attacks, respiratory and cardiovascular harm, and even early death. While everyone is at risk from breathing ozone, certain groups are more at risk, including children, pregnant women, older adults, and individuals with lung disease.

Follow these tips to help protect yourself and your family from ozone pollution.

Climate change is driving warmer temperatures and more frequent and intense heat waves, increasing the formation of ozone pollution. It is critical to address climate change in order to protect our health from the dangers of ozone  pollution.

Events in July

More information coming soon!

What Can You Do to Help Protect Healthy Air for All?

Right now, climate change is putting Americans' lung health and lives at risk. Our nation needs to cut the carbon pollution that causes climate change to avoid the worst impacts, and we must also deal with the health harms that are already here, including worsened conditions for ozone pollution. A bill in Congress called the "Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act" would help address communities plan for and address these health impacts of climate change. Please urge your senators and representatives to support this lifesaving legislation today. It only takes a minute!

Learn More: Resources for this Month

From the American Lung Association

  • Want to learn about the ozone pollution levels where you live? See how your area measures up using our "State of the Air report.

From the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

  • NACCHO's Climate Change Toolkit discusses ozone pollution protection for pregnant women
  • To log in, you can can access the toolkit by creating a free “MyNACCHO” account and logging in.

From Health Care Without Harm

Year At-A-Glance Calendar

View and share our monthly topics in the Year of Air Pollution & Health. Download PDF

Year of Air Pollution & Health poster (small)

Official Year of Air Pollution & Health Partner Organizations

National Partners

UN Environment, North America Office logoAlliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments logoAmerican Public Health Association logoAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America logoHealth Care Without Harm logoHealth Resources in Action logoMedical Society Consortium on Climate and Health logoNational Association of County and City Health OfficialsPhysicians for Social Responsibility logoUN Environment, North America Office  logo

Regional/State/Local Partners

American Medical Student Association, Virginia Commonwealth University ChapterAsthma Coalition of Los Angeles County logoCalifornia Pan-Ethnic Health Network logoCalifornia's American College of Emergency Physicians logoMedical Society of Sonoma County logoMendocino-Lake County Medical SocietyMI Air MI HealthSonoma County Medical Association logo

Partners for July

Virginia Mason Memorial logo

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].

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