Report: 80% of Californians live in areas plagued with unhealthy air

April 30, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Environmental Health Public Health 

Today, the American Lung Association (ALA) released its "State of the Air 2014," a report that ranks California's cities and counties for two of the most widespread and harmful pollutants, ozone and particle pollution. The ALA's 15th annual report is more important than ever to raise awareness of the urgent health problems caused by air pollution and the need to transition to clean, low carbon energy sources for air quality and climate protection.

This year's report shows continued progress in efforts to reduce ozone and particle pollution, and reinforces the importance of the state’s strong clean air leadership in reducing the public’s exposure to harmful air. At the same time, the report shows that substantial challenges remain to achieving the goal of clean air for everyone in California. "Almost 80 percent of Californians – 30 million residents – live in areas plagued with unhealthy air during certain parts of the year," said Marsha Ramos, Chair, American Lung Association in California. "That means residents exposed to pollution are at greater risk for lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart attacks and premature deaths."

The report's key message is that we must increase our efforts to reduce pollution so all Californians can breathe clean and healthy air.

For more information on the American Lung Association State of the Air Report, including trend charts and regional fact sheets, visit www.lung.org/california. Also see www.stateoftheair.org, where you can type in your zip code to see the grades by county, city and state, and check out trend charts tracking pollution levels over time.

Webinar: State of the Air Webinar and Health Impacts

The ALA will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, May 6, from 12:00 – 1:30 pm to review of the results of the 2014 State of the Air report. Speakers will include Janice Nolan, Assistant Vice President, National Policy, American Lung Association; and Bonnie Holmes-Gen, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, American Lung Association in California. There will also be a special presentation by Kari Nadeau, M.D., PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics—Immunology and Allergy, and Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Stanford University School of Medicine, who will present her compelling research investigating the role of air pollution exposures in the Central Valley on the developing immune system in children. To register for the webinar, email jenny.bard@lung.org. To log in to view the webinar, click here, or dial (866) 846-3997 (code: 699274).


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