Is our local air quality getting better or worse?

American Lung Association’s 2015 “State of the Air” report suggests that local air quality has not improved. Southcentral Pennsylvania has dropped to 12th worst among metropolitan areas for particle pollution.

What does the data show? Come to our community meeting as we discuss the data behind the report.  Is our air cleaner or dirtier?

The Clean Air Board will be meeting on May 7 at 7 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle PA

CDC announces World Asthma Day — May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015, marks the 17th annual observance of World Asthma Day and the kickoff to Asthma Awareness Month. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. One in 14 Americans lives with asthma,* experiencing repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing.

Although asthma cannot be cured, it is possible to manage asthma successfully to reduce and prevent asthma attacks, or episodes. Successful asthma management includes knowing the warning signs of an attack, avoiding things that can trigger an attack, and following the advice of a health care provider.

Members of the public can join experts from CDC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, May 5, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, for a TwitterChat about asthma, common asthma triggers, and how to create an asthma action plan. To join the moderated conversation, follow @CDCEnvironment on Twitter and use the hashtag #AsthmaChat2015 in chat messages. No registration is required.

More information about CDC’s National Asthma Control Program and its public and private partners is available at http://www.cdc.gov/asthma.

* Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/asthma/most_recent_data.htm.

American Lung Association releases State of the Air report

What’s theState of Your Air?

For 16 years, the American Lung Association has analyzed data from official air quality monitors to compile the State of the Air report. The more you learn about the air you breathe, the more you can protect your health and take steps to make our air cleaner and healthier.

Report Card: What’s the Grade for Your Air?

For answers, go to: http://www.stateoftheair.org/

Centers for Disease Control and EPA announce Air Quality Awareness Week

Air Quality Awareness Week — April 27–May 1, 2015

Air quality awareness week infographic

April 24, 2015 / 64(15);425

CDC is collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to urge persons to learn how air quality affects health during Air Quality Awareness Week, April 27–May 1, 2015.

Although outdoor air quality has improved since the 1990s, many challenges remain. Ground-level ozone, the primary component of smog, and particle pollution are just two of the many factors that decrease air quality and might affect health. Particle pollution can cause eye, lung, and throat irritation and can cause a heart attack among persons with heart disease (1). Ozone exposure can worsen symptoms of asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema and can cause coughing and pain when taking a deep breath, lung and throat irritation, and wheezing and trouble breathing during exercise or outdoor activities (2).

EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI) (3) predicts the level of pollution in the air each day and provides advice on healthy physical activity. The AQI is available on the internet, on many local TV weather forecasts, or as free e-mail tools and apps (4). The AQI includes information about the five major air pollutants in the United States that are regulated by EPA, including ozone and particle pollution.

Join experts from CDC, EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Park Service on Thursday, April 30, at 1:00 pm Eastern for a TwitterChat about air quality, physical activity, and health. Use the hashtag #AirQualityChat in chat messages to join the conversation.

Additional air quality and health information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/air/default.htm and http://www.epa.gov/airnow/airawareExternal Web Site Icon.

References

  1. CDC. Particle pollution. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014. Available athttp://www.cdc.gov/air/particulate_matter.html.
  2. CDC. Ozone and your health. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2014. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/air/ozone.html.
  3. Environmental Protection Agency. AirNow. Air quality index. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency. Available at http://www.airnow.govExternal Web Site Icon.
  4. Environmental Protection Agency. AirNow. Air quality notifications. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency. Available athttp://www.enviroflash.infoExternal Web Site Icon.

Middle school students start air quality flag program

The Sentinel:  Middle school students start air quality flag program

 

 http://cumberlink.com/shippensburg/middle-school-students-start-air-quality-flag-program/article_83e96178-03d5-5194-8a08-c7d4a304eeb1.html

Clean Air Board meeting April 9: Ozone Pollution and Asthma

Our next Clean Air Board meeting will be on April 9, 2015.  Join us at 7 pm at the Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.  We will be talking about Ozone Pollution and Asthma. Please share your concerns with us.

Clean Air Board comments on EPA’s proposed ozone standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by law to review and adjust its public health standards for critical air pollutants every five years.  This review is based on the latest scientific and medical information.  Last November, EPA proposed to move to an 8-hour exposure standard for ozone between 60 and 70 ppb (parts per billion) in the ambient air.

The current public health standard is 75 ppb.  If a new standard is adopted, the public would alerted to more “bad air” days — days during which the air quality is worse than the ozone standard.  These air quality action days would occur during the warmer months, when pollutants bake in the atmosphere to form ground level ozone.

Our members include many people who suffer ailments from breathing polluted air.  The Cumberland Valley is at the receiving end of an ozone transport corridor which originates hundreds of miles away.  Even on days when an ozone alert has not been declared, people can and do suffer respiratory problems due to ozone.

In our letter to EPA, we highlighted some of the more recent scientific and medical studies supporting a more stringent ozone standard. Many of these studies have identified strong links between long-term and short-term exposure to ozone to specific health ailments; other studies have linked air pollution to death rates in certain areas, or have begun to assess the negative impact of air pollution on health care costs and economic productivity.

We support a more stringent 8-hour ozone exposure standard which would better protect our health.

To view CAB’s comments to EPA, click here CAB comment ozone 2015

For more information from EPA, go to http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/actions.html

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