Airing the Truth about Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollution

Air pollution affects everyone.  You can't hide from it, even inside your own home.  Just consider these facts.

  • The Environmental Protection Agency ranks poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks to public health.  Interestingly, five out of 10 Americans are not aware of this fact. (Source: American Lung Association and 3M survey, 2002)
  • Levels of air pollution inside the home can be two to five times higher (and occasionally 100 times higher) than outdoor levels. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency, 2002)
  • Over half of the United States population lives in areas which have unhealthy levels of either ozone or particle pollution. (Source: American Lung Association's State of the Air 2004 Report)
  • It's estimated that 81 million Americans live in areas with unhealthful short-term levels of particle pollution and 66 million live in areas with chronically unhealthful levels of particle pollution. (Source: American Lung Association's State of the Air 2004 Report)
  • Air pollution found in large and midsize U.S. cities increases the risk of premature death from lung cancer and heart disease.  (Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002)
  • Air pollution contributes to lung disease, which claims close to 341,500 lives in America every year and is the third-leading cause of death in the United States . (Source: American Lung Association, 2002)
  • It is estimated that 10.5 million Americans had an asthma attack in 1999.  More than a third of them (at least 3.5 million) were children under the age of 18.  (Source: American Lung Association, Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality, 2002)
  • Asthma, which can be triggered by either indoor or outdoor air pollution, annually accounts for an estimated three million lost workdays for adults and 10.1 million lost school days in children. Asthma costs our nation $12.7 billion in health care costs annually.  (Source: American Lung Association, Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality, 2002)
  • Approximately 160 million Americans are breathing unhealthy air – children and seniors are the age groups most at risk:
    • 29 million of these Americans are under the age of 14.
    • 15 million are over the age of 65.

This article was published by Texasasthma.org, copyright 2002. It can be accessed online at the following link.


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