Too many people are breathing unhealthy air, and they are disproportionately likely to be people of color. The good news is that the nation has an opportunity to curb climate change, clean up air pollution and promote health equity all at the same time. The nation must transition from fossil fuels and combustion to clean, renewable electricity and zero-emission transportation. And policymakers must ensure that as this transition happens, communities with the highest health burdens from air pollution are cleaned up first—not left behind.

Join us in calling on President Biden to promote environmental justice by prioritizing historically burdened communities for pollution cleanup and to receive the benefits of investments in the transition to electric vehicles and clean, renewable electricity.

Everyone has a role to play in ending the disproportionate burden of air pollution. Individuals can take steps in their own lives like saving fuel and electricity; swapping solo gas-powered car trips with walking, biking or public transit; and skipping backyard fires. You can get tips on reducing your emissions with the Lung Association’s Stand Up For Clean Air initiative.

Businesses can choose or build sources of clean, renewable electricity and electrify their vehicle fleets. And governments at every level must set and enforce strong policies to limit emissions; eliminate fossil fuel use and combustion for energy; invest in energy that’s clean and renewable; and meaningfully engage community members like you in that work, especially in neighborhoods that have suffered from unhealthy air pollution for decades.

Protect Yourself and Your Community

Armed with the knowledge of the state of your air, you can take action. Take steps to reduce your personal risk, reduce your own contributions to air pollution to improve the air in your community, and promote policies at the federal level that clean up air pollution and address climate change.


Did You Know?

  1. More than 4 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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