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:

June: "Impacts to Moms and Kids"

June: Impacts to Moms and Kids

This month during the Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on the unique threats to mothers and children due to air pollution. Children face special risks from air pollution because their lungs are still growing, they are often more active outdoors, and they inhale more air than adults on a body-weight basis. In fact, air pollution affects the development of children before they are even born, with the potential to have lasting consequences. Research has shown that pregnant women exposed to air pollution have an increased risk of preterm birth and having babies with lower birth weights. Protecting clean air is critical to protecting the lifelong health of moms and kids.

With more than 4 million premature deaths globally each year due to outdoor air pollution, and more than 141 million Americans still living in counties with unhealthy air, it's important to remind our friends and family that the fight for healthy air is not over. The good news is that we can all be part of the solution!

Events in June

The United Nation's World Environment Day will be celebrated on June 5, focused on the theme of air pollution:

  • the UN's World Environment Day promotes worldwide awareness and action on a key theme. This year's focus is air pollution!
  • The American Lung Association and 2019 Year of Air Pollution & Health partners are joining allies around the world who will be sharing messages about the importance of healthy air using the hashtag #BeatAirPollution

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

Join us in the fight to #BeatAirPollution by engaging on social media this month. Healthy air is especially critical for moms and kids! On World Environment Day on June 5, or anytime in June, please 1) share this informative graphic on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and, 2) in your post or caption, tell the world what steps YOU are taking to reduce air pollution. Please make sure to use both hashtags #BeatAirPollution and #HealthyAirForAll.

5 Things You Can Do to Help #BeatAirPollution

  1. Walk, bike or carpool. Combine trips. Use buses, subways, light rail systems, commuter trains or other alternatives to driving your car to help reduce air pollution from vehicles.
  2. Use less energy in your home. Most electricity generated creates air pollution. By reducing energy use, you can help improve air quality. Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's easy tips for conserving energy at home.
  3. Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment rather than gasoline-powered. Old two-stroke engines like lawnmowers and leaf or snow blowers often have no pollution control devices.
  4. Don't burn wood or trash. Burning firewood and trash is a major source of particle pollution (soot) in many parts of the country.
  5. Get involved. Elected officials must continue working to reduce air pollution and to protect our health from the impacts of climate change, which can worsen air quality. Sign this petition and share your story to help us advocate for #HealthyAirForAll.

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 June

Children's Environmental Health Network logo Climate for Health logo Cumberland Pediatric Foundation logo Montana Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics logo Tennessee Department of Health logo 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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