Climate Change and Clean Air
Clean air is an important health concern for all of us. But when you have asthma, air quality indoors and out makes a huge difference to how well you breathe.
People with asthma are particularly sensitive to the health risks of outdoor air pollution. Ozone pollution (smog) and particle pollution (soot), the most common air pollutants, are powerful asthma triggers, as are vehicle exhaust, smoke, road dust and factory emissions. While tobacco smoke, dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pet dander and household chemicals are just a few of the indoor hazards.
For the nearly 26 million people with asthma in the U.S., including 7 million children, unhealthy air can create a difficult barrier to asthma management. Although asthma can’t be cured, it can be controlled. The Network is here to help you breathe easier by making the connection between air quality – indoors and out – and your asthma.
Because outdoor air quality may seem beyond your control, the best defense is knowledge and advocacy.
Allergy & Asthma Network supports the dialogue on climate change and health and is committed to opposing any attempts to block, weaken or delay protections against ozone, carbon and particle pollution.
Climate change has long been associated with dramatic weather-related events: soaring temperatures, typhoons, flooding, hurricanes, droughts and wildfires. Its effects are also linked to public health.
According to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD: “We know that climate change means high temperatures overall, and it also means longer and hotter heat waves… higher temperatures can mean worse air in cities and more smog and more ozone. We know that more intense wildfires will mean increased smoke in the air. And we know that earlier springs and longer summers mean longer allergy seasons.”
Allergy & Asthma Network joined a coalition of public health organizations to issue this statement: A Declaration on Climate Change and Health.
- Health Groups urge EPA to maintain the implementation of the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone.
- Health Groups Oppose “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017”
- Comments on EPA’s proposed revisions to the Regional Haze Rule
- Statement on EPA’s New Standards to Reduce Methane Emissions
- EPA Announces final Assessment of Health Effects of Nitrogen Dioxide
- Allergy & Asthma Network Applauds Clean Power Plan
- Climate Change Push Puts Asthma in Spotlight
- Something In The Air: How Climate Change Impacts Allergies and Asthma
- What Do Ozone Alerts Really Mean?
- Ozone Letter to President Obama and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy
Fact sheets from the American Public Health Association:
- Climate Change Decreases the Quality of the Air We Breathe
- Extreme Heat Can Impact Our Health in Many Ways
- Extreme Rainfall and Drought
- Climate Change Increases Geographic Range of Disease-Carrying Insects and Ticks
- Warmer Water and Flooding Increase the Risk of Illness and Injury
More EPA Resources
- How Will Climate Change Affect My Health? (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of Children (PDF)
- Climate Change, Health, and Environmental Justice (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of Indigenous Populations (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of Occupational Groups (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of Older Adults (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of People with Disabilities (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of People with Existing Medical Conditions (PDF)
- Climate Change and the Health of Pregnant Women (PDF)
Social media materials from the Physicians for Social Responsibility “Climate Change Makes Me Sick” campaign
Resources from the US Climate and Health Alliance — a national network of health and public health practitioners dedicated to addressing the threats of climate change to health.
Resources for kids & families:
Supporting the Clean Air Act
Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has driven cuts in air pollution across the country, but the American Lung Association’s 2015 State of the Air report shows that more than 4 in 10 people still live in areas where pollution levels often make the air dangerous to breathe.
Medical and health organizations, independent expert scientists and published research studies have told EPA clearly that the current ozone standard used by the Clean Air Act fails to protect public health. EPA’s independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council said in its review that strengthening the ozone limit from 75 to 60 parts per billion would better protect public health.
A broad coalition of leading national health organizations is calling on EPA to set the ozone standard at 60 parts per billion, which would better protect public health.
Visit our Online Advocacy Center to find out about current legislation and advocacy opportunities.