Year of Air Pollution & Health | American Lung Association

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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:

September: "Health Impacts of Extreme Storms"

September: Health Impacts of Extreme Storms

This month during the Year of Air Pollution & Health, the focus is on extreme storms and flooding, which threaten health in a range of ways – from immediate danger due to flooding and destruction, to health risks associated with cleaning up after storms.

Climate change increases the risk of more frequent and intense extreme storms and flooding, and also leads to higher storm surges due to sea level rise. This has a direct impact on human health. Extreme storms and flooding can damage homes and force families to evacuate. Often families that must rapidly leave their homes may have to recover essential medicines or seek medical care elsewhere. Those that return often face homes with mold, polluted floodwater residue and other damage, exposing them to indoor air pollution and other risks as they clean up. Here are some tips on how to best protect your health during and after a flood event.

Join us this month to learn how the public and health professionals can best prepare for extreme storms and floods, and what we can do to address the changes in our climate that are fueling these storms and making flooding worse.

Events in September

Webinar: "Extreme Storms, Flooding, and Health Impacts: Guidance for Environmental Health Professionals on the Ground"
September 24 from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. ET

This webinar for environmental health professionals and the communities they serve will give an overview of the health impacts of extreme storms and flooding, including lung health impacts, and practical tips from local environmental health professionals. Speakers will share their personal experiences and lessons learned while serving communities that have experienced extreme storms and flooding. This webinar will be cohosted by the American Lung Association and the National Environmental Health Association.

Register here

Webinar: "Extreme Storms, Flooding, and Health Impacts: Overview for the Health and Policy Professionals"
September 24 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET

This webinar for Congressional staff and members of the broader health policy community will give an overview of the health impacts of extreme storms and flooding, including lung health impacts; feature the personal experiences of local environmental health professionals who are on the ground serving communities dealing with extreme storms and flooding; and include related policy recommendations from the American Lung Association and the National Environmental Health Association.

Register here

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 from extreme storms and flooding. 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

From Trust for America's Health

From Health Care Without Harm

  • Safe Haven report, which covers the case for investing in climate resilient hospitals
  • Health Care Without Harm resilience page

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 September

National Environmental Health Association logo Trust for America's Health 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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