Just Breathe! It’s National Clean Air Month 2017!

GoodBadAir1

We can all agree that air is an important part in our everyday lives. Without it, there is no life. What do we do when it starts to cause more harm than good? Education is a start! May is National Clean Air Month and the purpose is to educate people about the affects air quality can have on our lives. Clean air has been a hot topic for years as pollution increases and air quality decreases. Certain amounts of oxygen, carbon dioxide,  and nitrogen come together to create clean air. It does not include pollutants or allergens.

It’s important that we understand what clean air is and what is not clean air. Poor quality air causes harm to all living things. It affects plants, bodies of water, and animals. It also causes cancer and serious respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and worsens symptoms of those with asthma. Other health conditions caused by air pollution include nausea, difficulty breathing, skin irritation, birth defects, developmental delays, compromised immune systems, and the list could go on. Low quality air affects the entire body!

Currently, about 39% of people living in the United States are living in poor air quality areas. Do you think that percentage is high? It is, but good news! This percentage is lower than last year! Our country has been working hard to improve air quality thanks to many factors including carpooling, walking, biking, or taking the bus to work; decreasing the output of pollutants from factories; recycling; and so many more. The Clean Air Act was established in 1970 and has created the base to our efforts towards clean air. Many decisions in the government that involve air quality are influenced by the Clean Air Act. Since 1970, there has been an increase in energy use, economy, and miles driven. You would think that air quality would get worse due to these factors, but thanks to the Clean Air Act, air has actually improved in quality!

Having clean air to breathe is vital for good health. Some places in our country need more work, but our efforts to improve the quality of the air that we breathe is working! Let’s continue to work toward a clean environment! Check out the following link to look at the rankings for cleanest and most polluted cities in the United States and see if you can find where Fargo-Moorhead area ranks!

City Rankings

Interactive Map of Quality

 

Sources:

http://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/sota/

http://www.whathealth.com/awareness/event/cleanairmonth.html

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749107002849

http://breatheproject.org/news/clean-air-dirty-air/

 

 

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