Download the 2020 State of the Air full report


Sign Our Petition to Help Protect Air Quality

“State of the Air” 2020 found that nearly half of Americans lived in counties that had unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.

The science is clear: the nation needs stronger limits on ozone and particle pollution to safeguard 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 dangerous air pollution.

(This petition will be sent to the U.S. EPA.)


Dear Administrator Wheeler:

On behalf of our families and communities, we urge you to set stronger limits on particle and ozone pollution. The current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone are not sufficient to protect public health.

Ozone and particle pollution are dangerous, which is why strong, science-based national limits on these pollutants are critical to safeguarding Americans’ health. The scientific research shows that the current limits on each pollutant are too weak. Anyone can suffer health harms from ozone and particulate matter, but millions of people face greater risk – including the more than 16.4 million adults with COPD and more than 24.8 million adults and 5.5 million children with asthma.

We call on you to strengthen the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for particulate matter and ozone. Please follow the science and set stronger limits that truly protect our families’ and communities’ health.


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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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