Climate change is a public health threat that worsens our air quality and puts the health of all Americans at risk. Through the Stand Up For Clean Air initiative, the American Lung Association asks everyone to pledge to take action on climate change and air pollution, including raising awareness about the need for clean air. To bring health to the forefront of conversations around climate change and air pollution, today the Lung Association is announcing a new effort to encourage everyone to share why clean air matters to them through the #MyCleanAirStory social media campaign.
Through this new campaign, everyone is encouraged to share their personal experiences and concerns with air pollution and climate change on social media with a selfie, photo or video with the #MyCleanAirStory hashtag. Whether you love to bike or run, live near a power plant or highway, or your child experiences asthma symptoms on bad air quality days – we all have reasons why we want and need clean air.
Those that post their #MyCleanAirStory to social media with a photo or video (under 2 minutes) can enter at Lung.org/mycleanairstory for the chance to win a healthy air prize, including an Aprilaire Allergy True HEPA Air Purifiers (valued at $549 each) or a whole-home indoor air quality upgrade of the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™ (valued at a maximum of $5,000). Winners will also have their #MyCleanAirStory featured on Lung.org.
“Climate change is not a vague threat or future event, climate change is harming the health of Americans today,” said American Lung Association President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “The Lung Association has long served as the nation’s champion of clean air, and in an effort to extend the national dialogue around how climate change impacts health, we will amplify stories about the real-life impacts of climate change and air pollution on health and lives, especially the stories of those most vulnerable and who bear a disproportionate health burden, including people of color and low-income communities.”
The 2020 “State of the Air” report found nearly half of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air quality, and our changing climate worsens air pollution. Climate change results in increased levels of wildfire smoke, increased formation of ozone pollution, and more extreme storms and frequent flooding, which leave behind mold, polluted floodwater residue and other damage, exposing people to indoor air pollution as they clean up and repair homes. Many sources of climate pollution – power plants, oil and gas operations, and cars and trucks – also produce air pollution that is directly harmful to lung health.
Air pollution can trigger asthma attacks, and can cause coughing and wheezing, heart attacks and stroke, developmental and reproductive harm, and lung cancer. Air pollution can even be deadly.
“The national dialogue around climate change has really strengthened thanks in large part to the energy and activism of young people,” Wimmer said. “We hope to bring health to the top of conversations around climate change. We know that when people realize the air they breathe is harming their health or the health of a loved one – even for those less concerned about climate change – they are more willing to take action to address this public health crisis.”
Learn more about climate change and lung health, as well as simple steps to make a difference, and critical opportunities to hold leaders accountable at Lung.org/air. The Lung Association is proud to recognize our partners Aprilaire, ComEd and Dyson in this initiative, helping us work across industries to ensure a cleaner, heathier future for us all.