Clean Air Month 2023
Supported by the American Lung Association, Clean Air Month educates people about the impact clean air can have on their lives.
This observance also encourages people to take positive steps to help improve air quality.
What exactly is clean air?
Clean air, is air which has a natural balance of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Clean air does not contain pollutants or allergens.
Clean air does not harm the environment, nor is it a cause or trigger of health problems.
Consequences of poor quality air
Poor quality air can harm the environment and can affect us all.
Toxic air pollution is linked to serious conditions such as cancer and chronic bronchitis. Air pollution can exacerbate pre-existing conditions such as asthma.
Air pollution can also harm the environment. The burning of fossil fuels (often for transport or electricity generation) releases high levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere. These gases react with other gases and water to create rain which is acidic.
Acid rain raises the acid levels of water and disrupts the natural balance of life in lakes and rivers; acid rain can also damage plants and trees.
Pollutants Which Can Affect Clean Air & The Environment Include:
- Acid Rain
- Toxic Air Pollution
- Sulfur Dioxide
- Particulate Soot
- Carbon Monoxide
Clean Air Month: Taking Positive Steps
The Clean Air Act came into force in 1970. This Act has been successful in reducing air quality related health conditions and premature death.
Clean Air Month is a time for many states to celebrate the impact the Clean Air Act has had on the way people think about the environment and on the overall health of its people. For example, in Wisconsin during 1986, the Clean Air Act influenced legislation which was passed to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from state power stations; by 1990 sulfur dioxide emissions had fallen by 46 percent.
Clean Air Month is recognized in many states across America. Events are held throughout the month of May to promote awareness. These have included 'Bike To Work Days' and 'Share A Car Days'. Some states offer Air Management Programs and timely reporting on state and federal air quality issues.
We can all make positive steps to improve the quality of our air. Ways we can improve air quality are often based around reducing our use of electricity and using transport more efficiently. We can also support legislation which improves air quality.