Yup, it’s Air Quality Awareness Week

We bet you didn’t know its Air Quality Awareness week! Well, it is. And that means it’s time to learn a bit about how air quality affects all of us.

The American Lung Association just released their 2013 State of the Air report. While overall, air pollution is decreasing, 43% of people still live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution.

Unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution put people at risk for a range of health problems from asthma to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Some groups, including older, younger, and people with asthma and cardiovascular disease, are especially at risk.

The primary culprits of smog, ozone, and particulate pollution are emissions from coal power plant and cars. Although regulations are tighter on coal power plants, they are still among the largest contributors to air pollution and produce 84 known hazardous pollutants including arsenic and mercury along with carbon dioxide.

So, what can you do?

  1. Switch to wind power: Support the development of renewable energy to reduce our reliance on coal power plants
  2. Be more energy efficient: reduced demand for electricity will reduce emissions from smokestacks
  3. Drive less: reduce the emissions of sulfur, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons by taking public transit, riding your bike, and carpooling instead of driving
  4. Ask your congressman to support the Clean Air Act and other initiatives that support clean air
  5. Take our pledge to Energize Responsibly and ditch dirty air

Remember, the average person breathes 3,500 gallons of air each day, according to Clean Air Partners. So, know what you’re breathing!



American Lung Association State of the Air Report

Clean Air Partners: Understanding the Air Quality Index

Maryland Department of the Environment Clean Air Report


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