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What You Can Do to Reduce Air Pollution

We need your help to advocate for healthy air! You can help reduce air pollution outdoors by taking a few simple steps.

Speak Up Today:

Tell EPA to set stronger limits on particle and ozone pollution. The science is clear: the nation needs stronger limits on ozone and particle pollution to safeguard health. The current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone are not sufficient to protect public health.  Every family has the right to breathe healthy air – and the right to know when air pollution levels are unhealthy. Tell the Environmental Protection Agency to follow the science and set stronger limits on particle and ozone pollution.

Other Ways You Can Help:

Share your story. Do you or any member of your family have a personal reason to fight for healthier, cleaner air? Let us know why clean air matters to you. Your story helps us remind decision makers what is at stake when it comes to clean air.

Speak up to Congress. Urge your members of Congress to oppose EPA’s proposal that could undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, to oppose legislation that would weaken the Clean Air Act, and to support climate action to protect health, including the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act. Take action on climate and health now.
Support strong science. Sign our petition opposing EPA’s efforts to censor science. Join us at www.lung.org/savescience

Get involved locally. Participate in state and local efforts to clean up air pollution and address climate change, including by supporting clean, renewable electricity and cleaner vehicles. To find your local air pollution control agency, go to www.4cleanair.org

Step up to Curb Pollution in Your Community:

Drive less. Once stay-at-home orders are lifted, combine trips, walk, bike, carpool or vanpool, and use buses, subways or other alternatives to driving. Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution. Support community plans that provide ways to get around that don’t require a car, such as more sidewalks, protected bike lanes and transit systems. If you must drive, switch to electric vehicles.

Use less electricity. Turn out the lights and use energy-efficient electric appliances. Generating electricity is one of the biggest sources of pollution, particularly in the eastern United States. If you have the option in your community, buy power from clean, renewable sources.

Don’t burn wood or trash. Burning firewood and trash is among the largest sources of particle pollution in many parts of the country. If you must use a fireplace or stove for heat, convert your woodstove to natural gas, which has far fewer polluting emissions. Compost and recycle as much as possible and dispose of other waste properly; don’t burn it. Support efforts in your community to ban outdoor burning of construction and yard wastes. Avoid the use of outdoor hydronic heaters, also called outdoor wood boilers, which are frequently much more polluting than woodstoves.

Make sure your local school system requires cleaner school buses, which includes replacing them with electric buses or retrofitting old school buses with filters and other equipment to reduce emissions. Make sure your local schools don’t idle their buses; this step can immediately reduce emissions. Parents shouldn’t idle in their cars outside of schools either.

Thank you for being a champion for healthy air.

Did You Know?

  1. Nearly 5 out of 10 people live where the air they breathe earned an F in State of the Air 2020.
  2. 150 million people live in counties that received an F for either ozone or particle pollution in State of the Air 2020.
  3. More than 20.8 million people live in counties that got an F for all three air pollution measures in State of the Air 2020.
  4. Breathing ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn within the lungs.
  5. Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization.
  6. Particle pollution can also cause early death and heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for people with asthma and cardiovascular disease.
  7. Particles are smaller than 1/30th the diameter of a human hair. When you inhale them, they are small enough to get past the body's natural defenses.
  8. Ozone and particle pollution are both linked to increased risk of lower birth weight in newborns.
  9. Do you live near, or work on or near a busy highway? Pollution from the traffic may put you at greater risk of harm.
  10. People who work or exercise outside face increased risk from the effects of air pollution.
  11. Millions of people are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution, including infants, older adults and people with lung diseases like asthma.
  12. People of color and those earning lower incomes are often disproportionately affected by air pollution that put them at higher risk for illnesses.
  13. Air pollution is a serious health threat. It can trigger asthma attacks, harm lung development in children, and can even be deadly.
  14. You can protect your family by checking the air quality forecasts in your community and avoiding exercising or working outdoors when the unhealthy air is expected.
  15. Climate change enhances conditions for ozone to form and makes it harder to keep ozone from forming.
  16. Climate change increases the risk of wildfires that spread particle pollution and ozone in the smoke.
  17. This Administration is trying to roll back or create loopholes in core healthy air protections under the Clean Air Act. The Lung Association opposes these actions that will add pollution to the air we breathe.
  18. Cutting air pollution through the Clean Air Act will prevent at least 230,000 deaths and save $2 trillion annually by 2020.
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