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May is Air Pollution and Children’s Health Month
Approximately 6 million children in the U.S. have asthma. It is the leading childhood chronic disease in our country and can significantly impact a child’s quality of life. Air pollution exacerbates children’s asthma, contributing to more frequent and more severe symptoms, and increased hospitalizations. All children have the right to live, learn, and play in communities where the air is safe to breathe.
Read more about children’s unique vulnerabilities to air pollution and the primary threats to our nation’s air quality, and compare levels of ozone and particle pollution across counties as reported in the 19th annual “State of the Air”, published by our partners at the American Lung Association.
What can you do to protect our children’s air quality?
Send a message to Congress and to the White House: Protect the Clean Air Act! Urge the President and Congress to support cleaner, healthier air and oppose measures to block or delay the cleanup of air pollution. The President and all members of Congress should support and protect the Clean Air Act.
Tell Congress to support adequate funds for the EPA to implement and enforce the Clean Air Act. EPA needs resources to make sure that the pollution is cleaned up, as do the states, local governments and tribes.
Drive less. Combine trips, walk, bike, carpool or vanpool, and use buses, subways or other alternatives to driving. Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution. Support community plans that provide ways to get around that don’t require a car, such as more sidewalks, bike trails and transit systems.
Make sure your local school system requires clean school buses, which includes replacing or retrofitting old school buses with filters and other equipment to reduce emissions. Make sure your local schools don't idle their buses, a step that can immediately reduce emissions. Child care providers and directors can adopt a “no-idling” policy as well.
In addition, our partner, Moms Clean Air Force , is running a campaign to protect clean car standards to safeguard children's respiratory health. Learn more about the issue and their important efforts, as well as ways you can help, here.
Click here to help us continue to bring together and highlight the critical work being done to protect children's health, galvanize support, and motivate society to take action.