Lung Health and the Black CommunitySummary of the page; 190 limit (with spaces.)
Clean air is essential to health. Yet nearly half of Americans are still breathing unhealthy air, and the burden is not evenly shared. Disadvantaged, under-resourced and politically disenfranchised communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution. Oftentimes these are communities of color or low-income communities, meaning exposure to air pollution compounds other negative social determinants of health due to systemic racism and classism.
Exposure to air pollution is harmful to health in many ways, including by triggering asthma attacks. Recent studies have found that Black Americans have one of the highest rates of asthma and were over 40% more likely than white Americans to have current cases. Due to decades of residential segregation, Black Americans tend to live closer to many sources of pollution—including roadways, oil and gas operations and ports, increasing their exposure to dangerous pollutants like particle pollution and nitrogen dioxide, both of which can aggravate asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Learn more about the air you breathe from the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report, which analyzes data from official air quality monitors in your state.
The American Lung Association is pleased to announce the launch of its project, Awareness Trust and Action: Improving Lung Cancer Clinical Trial Enrollment in Black Americans. The Black community is disproportionally impacted by lung cancer and underrepresented in lung cancer clinical trials. Sometimes the most appropriate treatment option for a lung cancer patient is through a clinical trial so it is important that all patients discuss this option with their doctor. This new campaign aims to educate about lung cancer clinical trials and empower all lung cancer patients, including Black Americans to advocate for their own participation. Participation=Representation. You can learn more at Lung.org/trials-and-you.
The American Lung Association joins the 20+ year efforts of leading Black organizations including The Center for Black Health & Equity and the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC) to educate and build confidence among public health professionals and community-based individuals addressing tobacco disparities in the Black community. This information is being provided as a starting point to dismantle racial injustices and health inequalities faced by the Black community concerning tobacco use. The Black Communities Toolkit is by no means an end-all answer, but rather a jump start to ideas and initiatives. This toolkit is available here.